Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

Europe

Pope's condom remark 'doesn't change' contraception ban

Video by Clovis CASALI

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-11-21

Pope Benedict XVI’s suggestion that the use of condoms may be acceptable in certain circumstances does not reverse the Catholic Church’s long-standing ban on contraception, says the head of France's leading Catholic daily.

Pope Benedict XVI’s apparent U-turn on the use of condoms is not a sea change in the Catholic Church’s stance on contraception, according to the head of France’s leading Catholic daily newspaper.

Dominique Quinio, editor-in-chief of popular Catholic daily La Croix, said Benedict’s comments – condoning condom use in some circumstances to prevent the spread of disease – should not be interpreted as a change in the Church’s anti-contraception dogma.
 
“His comments are very much linked to the AIDS issue,” she told FRANCE 24. “He is saying that while it’s not the solution to the AIDS problem, wearing a condom can be a responsible act.”
 
Benedict’s comments, she said, were a response to criticism of the Church after the pontiff told reporters on a trip to Africa in 2009 that trying to stem the spread of AIDS with condoms alone would aggravate the situation.
 
The widely-reported comments outraged health agencies trying to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 22 million people are infected.
 
“The pope was very unhappy with the reaction to what he said,” Dominique Quinio said. “He was wounded that the Church had been made to look like an uncaring monster.”
 
Example of a male prostitute
 
In a series of interviews to be published in a book this week, Benedict insisted that the use of condoms was not a “moral solution” to the HIV/AIDS issue.
 
But he said that “where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, it can nevertheless be a first step on the way to another, more humane, sexuality.”
 
The Pope’s comments, which are just six lines in transcripts of over 20 hours of taped interviews, avoided linking condoms with heterosexual sex within marriage.
 
"There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be ... a first bit of responsibility, to re-develop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes," Benedict was quoted as saying.
 
Until now, the Vatican had prohibited the use of any form of contraception – other than abstinence – even as a guard against sexually transmitted disease.
 
Condoms ‘must be used’
 
Benedict’s comments were criticised by Act Up Paris, an anti-AIDS organization.
 
“The Pope does specify that it’s only for very exceptional cases. We wonder what he means by that,” Act Up’s Jonas le Bail told FRANCE 24.
 
But one of the leaders of the French Christians and AIDS association (which provides support and information to AIDS sufferers) welcomed what he described as a highly significant break with the past.
  
"The breach is now open and I totally accept what he has said," Gerard Guerin told AFP.
  
The head of the UN agency leading the international campaign against AIDS said Benedict's comments were a "significant and positive step forward".
  
"This move recognizes that responsible sexual behaviour and the use of condoms have important roles in HIV prevention," UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe said in a statement.
  
"Condoms must be allowed to halt the virus. They are not simply useful, they must be used."
 

 

Date created : 2010-11-21

COMMENT(S)