Pope: Condoms OK for Women and Transsexuals Now, Too

For lapsed Catholics, anyone concerned with HIV prevention and sex-positive everyone, the news coming from the Vatican is actually, for once, getting better and better. After the Pope told a German journalist that it was okay for male prostitutes to use condoms, he's expanded his comments to include women and transsexuals. And, apparently, he meant to include all genders the whole time–the intent was lost in translation:

His comments implied that he was referring primarily to homosexual sex, when condoms aren't being used as a form of contraception, which the Vatican opposes.

Questions arose immediately, however, about the pope's intent because the Italian translation of the book used the feminine for prostitute, whereas the original German used the masculine.

Okay then! When Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, asked the pope if he meant to exclude women from his newfound “condoms are lesser evil than transmitting HIV” stance, Benedict did something truly amazing–he invoked the third sex.

"I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine," Lombardi said. "He told me no. The problem is this ... It's the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship."

"This is if you're a woman, a man, or a transsexual. We're at the same point," Lombardi said.

With over 1 billion practicing Catholics in the world–who are taught to follow the Vatican's every dictum–it looks like, no matter how twisted the justification, God's Rottweiler is finally showing a little bit of responsibility, himself. In Africa, for instance, 20 percent of the entire population is Catholic, and more than 20 million people on the continent are HIV-positive. “He has a wide following and there are some people who take his word as gospel truth," according to Caroline Nenguke, of a Cape Town-based HIV advocacy group called the Treatment Action Campaign. "If condom use has more credibility, then more people will use condoms and therefore infection rates will reduce."


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at November 23, 2010, 4:59am

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