The Pope softens up on condom use (UPDATED).

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Quite a few official opinions of the Catholic Church has always been controversial, and few more than the denial of and condemnation of any use of contraception, which have had severe consequences in poor countries where AIDS is rampant and the Catholic Church simultaneously holds sway.

The latest pope haven't exactly been known for a progressive outlook on things, but it seems that the catholic policy on condom use is softening up in the face of reality. When asked by a German reporter for an upcoming book whether the Catholic Church is "fundamentally against the use of condoms", he apparently replied:

"Of course does not see it as a real and moral solution. In certain cases, 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"

Just how far "in certain cases" extend is not immediately clear, but it seems that the Vatican might finally accommodate to reality in the face of a very harmful dogma. How much real influence the Vatican actually has over the conservative African branches remains to be seen, and I doubt Benedict will liberalize much else, but with the Church certainly in need of some good PR, it appears that at least one hot-button issue - arguably the most harmful one - is being taken under renewed consideration.

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11804398

EDIT: UPDATE

Seems Benedict was given too much credit, as the Pope's condom remark in context refers only to a hypothetical "first step" for a male prostitute to "see the light". The full excerpt on the issue can be found here, but the relevant remark is:

...
There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.

That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.

Interviewer: Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?

Pope Benedict: She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.

In the context of his previous example, what was originally quoted unfortunately lose all relation to the African problem and the utopian "solution" the Catholic Church has so far sworn to, instead becoming yet another jibe at how homosexuality is "wrong". Nothing has changed, it seems.

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11804798

(damn you for creating this topic before I could)

I see this as a positive, if insufficient, step forward. That it comes from a more conservative pope than even John Paul II, is even more positive.

Then again, that the ultimate earthly authority of the Catholic curch is so late on the uptake isn't exactly promising. But then again, what else is new?

We can only hope this will have some reducing effect on teenage pregnacies and the spread of HIV worldwide.

Phew, it's a glimmer of hope at least.
Maybe, soon, I won't get to call him a despicable, disgusting accomplice to mass murder anymore.
I'd welcome that day.
Not that there aren't other problematic issues, but the sheer quantity of the damage of this one always irked me the most.

Anyone else spot the very vague pun in the title, or was it just me?

On topic, undeniably good news. Whether impoverished African communities can afford them remains to be seen, but it's a start.

Valkyrie101:
Anyone else spot the very vague pun in the title, or was it just me?

On topic, undeniably good news. Whether impoverished African communities can afford them remains to be seen, but it's a start.

I must admit, I didn't intend for any pun, and can't really see one. I should've used the headline of one of the Danish online newspaper, which translates to "The Pope is ready for sex with condoms". That one could (wilfully) be misunderstood, but it's not a tabloid, so I doubt it's intentional.

Skeleon:
Phew, it's a glimmer of hope at least.
Maybe, soon, I won't get to call him a despicable, disgusting accomplice to mass murder anymore.
I'd welcome that day.
Not that there aren't other problematic issues, but the sheer quantity of the damage of this one always irked me the most.

Agreed, it's not the most ideologically reprehensible dogma they have on display, but circumstances makes it the most murderous.

Valkyrie101:
On topic, undeniably good news. Whether impoverished African communities can afford them remains to be seen, but it's a start.

One of the issues is that Catholic people at the scene would actively campaign against condoms because of their beliefs, directly influencing the populace even against the condoms handed out by aid organizations.

Some have been more imaginative in their quest to spread the message against condoms. In 2007, Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Mozambique announced that European condom manufacturers are deliberately infecting condoms with HIV to spread Aids in Africa. Out of every 8 people in Mozambique, one has HIV.

- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/11/bad-science-pope-anti-condom

It's this kind of direct sabotage of actual efforts to improve the situation that enrages me the most.

Skeleon:

Some have been more imaginative in their quest to spread the message against condoms. In 2007, Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Mozambique announced that European condom manufacturers are deliberately infecting condoms with HIV to spread Aids in Africa. Out of every 8 people in Mozambique, one has HIV.

- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/11/bad-science-pope-anti-condom

It's this kind of direct sabotage of actual efforts to improve the situation that enrages me the most.

I'm with you on that. I get that they are, after a fashion and in their own way, trying to make the world a better place. But to utterly ignore reality while in doing so in preferance to personal beliefs is...considering the consequences, unforgivable.

Is Archbishop Tutu still alive? I would imagine he's dancing with glee at this.

...we need to hear from that guy more often.

Why any one would take advice from a group of men who vowed not to have sex is beyond me. And that go's double for this particular subject.

It's a step forward although a very small one.

And why take advice from someone that looks like The emperor from Star Wars?

A Step forward, but I am still not a fan of the current pope (PS, I am Catholic, or if you prefer to call me, a "Christian Deist") for his way of keeping Pedo's out of jail.

NeutralDrow:
Is Archbishop Tutu still alive? I would imagine he's dancing with glee at this.

...we need to hear from that guy more often.

Yes, he is still alive. However, he retired from public life last month on his 79th birthday.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39557642/ns/world_news-africa

Kobie:

NeutralDrow:
Is Archbishop Tutu still alive? I would imagine he's dancing with glee at this.

...we need to hear from that guy more often.

Yes, he is still alive. However, he retired from public life last month on his 79th birthday.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39557642/ns/world_news-africa

...

"For decades he has been a moral titan, a voice of principle, an unrelenting champion of justice, and a dedicated peacemaker.

"We will miss his insight and his activism, but will continue to learn from his example. We wish the archbishop and his family happiness in the years ahead."

Something else I agree with the president on. At least it looks like he'll still be doing some stuff, so that's a good thing.

Skeleon:

Some have been more imaginative in their quest to spread the message against condoms. In 2007, Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Mozambique announced that European condom manufacturers are deliberately infecting condoms with HIV to spread Aids in Africa. Out of every 8 people in Mozambique, one has HIV.

- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/11/bad-science-pope-anti-condom

It's this kind of direct sabotage of actual efforts to improve the situation that enrages me the most.

Indeed, that is just utterly disgusting to hear such slander with no basis in reality whatsoever.

OT: It's a start, I'll give them that.

Yay, I guess?

Never really understood why the Catholic Church bothered to meddle in sexual affairs. Or that people actually listen to them.
Sexual education from a bunch of graying virgins? How could this ever go wrong?

I'm imagining it went something like

Reporter: "So what do you think of your policy on condoms and the massive amount of people dead because of it?"
Bishop: "W-well, condoms could not be alll bad, th-there's maybe sometime that'd be appropriate for them, maybe."

Really weird. Instead of condemning male prostitution altogether like you would expect, the Pope says condoms are okay if you're a male prostitute? Huh?

'tis a step in the right direction, although a rather small one and it would've been nice if he had have had a more concrete stance on it than "in certain cases".

Skeleon:

Some have been more imaginative in their quest to spread the message against condoms. In 2007, Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Mozambique announced that European condom manufacturers are deliberately infecting condoms with HIV to spread Aids in Africa. Out of every 8 people in Mozambique, one has HIV.

- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/11/bad-science-pope-anti-condom

It's this kind of direct sabotage of actual efforts to improve the situation that enrages me the most.

The clergy over in Africa really seem to like making moronic and ass-backwards statements when it comes to condoms, huh.

Steppin Razor:
'tis a step in the right direction, although a rather small one and it would've been nice if he had have had a more concrete stance on it than "in certain cases".

Skeleon:

Some have been more imaginative in their quest to spread the message against condoms. In 2007, Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Mozambique announced that European condom manufacturers are deliberately infecting condoms with HIV to spread Aids in Africa. Out of every 8 people in Mozambique, one has HIV.

- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/11/bad-science-pope-anti-condom

It's this kind of direct sabotage of actual efforts to improve the situation that enrages me the most.

The clergy over in Africa really seem to like making moronic and ass-backwards statements when it comes to condoms, huh.

That's why it's so sad that this guy is retiring.

NeutralDrow:
That's why it's so sad that this guy is retiring.

I'm not sure what's worse - the fact that he's quitting or that through that Wikipedia link I discovered this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_denialism

Steppin Razor:

NeutralDrow:
That's why it's so sad that this guy is retiring.

I'm not sure what's worse - the fact that he's quitting or that through that Wikipedia link I discovered this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_denialism

I already knew about that movement, but I didn't know before that an entire magazine was canceled because all its Deniers died of AIDS.

NeutralDrow:

Steppin Razor:

NeutralDrow:
That's why it's so sad that this guy is retiring.

I'm not sure what's worse - the fact that he's quitting or that through that Wikipedia link I discovered this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_denialism

I already knew about that movement, but I didn't know before that an entire magazine was canceled because all its Deniers died of AIDS.

I just wanted you to know, that pic's going in my /sci/ folder just in case I run into some idiot who tries to deny Global Warming, Evolution, or, now, AIDS.

NeutralDrow:

I was always more a fan of this:

Naheal:
I just wanted you to know, that pic's going in my /sci/ folder just in case I run into some idiot who tries to deny Global Warming, Evolution, or, now, AIDS.

I think I had it as my desktop background for a while. Before my inner Type-Moon fanboy reasserted dominance.

Steppin Razor:
I was always more a fan of this:

Saved.

Only way that could be better is if it were just the image, not the demotivational, strange as that sounds...

NeutralDrow:
Saved.

Only way that could be better is if it were just the image, not the demotivational, strange as that sounds...

Not really all that strange. The picture works pretty well by itself without the demotivational, and the words sorta distract from the image itself. Eh, a quick crop job will remove all that.

Steppin Razor:

NeutralDrow:
Saved.

Only way that could be better is if it were just the image, not the demotivational, strange as that sounds...

Not really all that strange. The picture works pretty well by itself without the demotivational, and the words sorta distract from the image itself. Eh, a quick crop job will remove all that.

Some motivationals actually add to the picture.

Naheal:

Steppin Razor:

NeutralDrow:
Saved.

Only way that could be better is if it were just the image, not the demotivational, strange as that sounds...

Not really all that strange. The picture works pretty well by itself without the demotivational, and the words sorta distract from the image itself. Eh, a quick crop job will remove all that.

Some motivationals actually add to the picture.

Oh, certainly. The wording still needs to at least mildly surpass the picture, though...

Steppin Razor:
The clergy over in Africa really seem to like making moronic and ass-backwards statements when it comes to condoms, huh.

To be fair, if you look at the link or search other sources, the people making these sorts of statements aren't all in Africa.
I just pointed out one from Africa because I feel the ones at location so to speak have the most influence on the matter.

Skeleon:
To be fair, if you look at the link or search other sources, the people making these sorts of statements aren't all in Africa.
I just pointed out one from Africa because I feel the ones at location so to speak have the most influence on the matter.

True enough, but like you said, the ones over in Africa have the most influence on the matter, so I felt it was appropriate to specifically single out the clergy in Africa in this case. They're the ones that see all the people dying of AIDS, and they're the ones actively contributing to the situation with their retarded, ass-backwards rants against contraception.

Valkyrie101:
Anyone else spot the very vague pun in the title, or was it just me?

No, no, I saw that too. Hilarious, especially because it was apparently unintentional.

Don't go soft on condoms, they'll fall off.

The pope's not saying condoms are ok. He's saying that they are *not* 'ok' but that when people aren't listening to church teaching anyway that it can be **more** humane than not using them.

"She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution"

Ideally in church world people would be faithful to partners and thus AIDs would decrease. " there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection"

And of course would like people to follow church teaching which would be for everyones benefit. Less sexual partners (ideally one in a monogamous marraige) = less risk of STDs. Pretty simple really.

Phototoxin:
The pope's not saying condoms are ok. He's saying that they are *not* 'ok' but that when people aren't listening to church teaching anyway that it can be **more** humane than not using them.

That's actually a huge improvement on previous statements. However, it's not clear if or how much this will be transmitted to the places that need to know.

Phototoxin:
The pope's not saying condoms are ok. He's saying that they are *not* 'ok' but that when people aren't listening to church teaching anyway that it can be **more** humane than not using them.

"She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution"

Ideally in church world people would be faithful to partners and thus AIDs would decrease. " there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection"

And of course would like people to follow church teaching which would be for everyones benefit. Less sexual partners (ideally one in a monogamous marraige) = less risk of STDs. Pretty simple really.

Yeah, that's my understanding of it. The Pope's just saying, "Well, if they're already sinning, they can at least be safe about it and not spread this horrible disease." But yeah, from the Church's standpoint, if people wouldn't sleep around, the disease wouldn't be nearly as prevalent. They don't approve of condoms because by Church teaching you shouldn't be having sex with anyone but your spouse anyway, and if you're having sex with your spouse, there wouldn't be so much of a need for a condom.

Phototoxin:
And of course would like people to follow church teaching which would be for everyones benefit.

And it is also a pipe dream, like perfectly functioning anarchy, to-the-letter-Communism, and unfettered laissez-faire Capitalism. Or, you know, the Catholic Church's theocracy wet dream.

Regardless, this is an improvement. Not much, but still better than outright, 100% lying.

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