The church is known for making changes to its dogmatic decrees when faced with overwhelming evidence over a long period of time. The church changed its stance on the flat earth, abolished ‘limbo’, unbaptized babies, a literal interpretation of the Bible (or, their former consideration that the Bible is a book of science), and more than a few Catholics even have doubts about a literal resurrection; so why should condoms be different? The real question is, with millions of people with AIDS and HIV, is the church taking this stance a little too late?
NAIROBI, Kenya — From clerics to AIDS activists, Africans applauded Pope Benedict XVI’s suggestion that condoms could be used in limited situations to protect partners — a shift that could make a dramatic impact in a continent that is both battling an HIV pandemic and increasingly turning to Catholicism.
“I say hurrah for Pope Benedict,” exclaimed Linda-Gail Bekker, chief executive of South Africa’s Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. She said the pope’s statement may prompt many people to “adopt a simple lifestyle strategy to protect themselves.”
In comments made public last weekend, the pope said condoms could be morally justified in some cases, such as with male prostitutes to prevent the spread of HIV. The Vatican went even further on Tuesday, saying the comments also apply to women. About 54 percent of those infected with HIV in Africa are women.