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Pope’s comments drew different opinions from the Catholics

 Pope Benedict XVI waves at the end of the Consistory ceremony in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

 

Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks regarding use of condoms surprised everyone and brought in different interpretations even from its own church, the Catholics.

A Vatican spokesman said the Pope’s informal comment on the issue was not "a revolutionary breakthrough."

"The Pope considered an exceptional situation in which the exercis of sexuality is a real danger to the life of another," said Fr Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesperson.

While other liberal Catholics even the top members of its clergy have been calling for some considerations on the use of condoms such as when one partner in a marriage is HIV positive, the Vatican’s ban on contraception remains and this include the use of condoms.

Alberto Melloni, an Italian church historian said that "Benedict opened without a doubt a crack that cannot help but have consequences."

In Zimbabwe, Rev. Peter Makome who works in Harare’s Southerton Parish said the message for safe sex that come out is much better for everyone.

UN Aids agency also appreciated the Pope’s comments as significant and positive step.  

The Pontiff’s comments were also welcomed by the Save the Children charity and suggested that the Catholic Church should go further in supporting condom use to combat Aids.

Benedict’s comments also appear stronger than its original German version when translated other languages like Italian  The Italian version said there may be some "justified" cases, while the original German and English texts were less direct, saying "there may be a basis in the case of some individuals."

According to an English translation of the  book "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times" obtained by The Associated Press., Benedict has said in his interview with a German journalist, "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."

This comment was followed when the pontiff was asked to clarify if the church was not opposed in principle to condoms.  "The church 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," 

Benedict said he takes personal responsibility for his remarks and should not be taken as official church teaching.  When he spoke of his getting old, he said that popes who are no longer physically able to carry on their missions have an obligation to resign.