Much of its work takes place in developing countries, although it has also had a presence in the global north. Its opposition to condoms , despite their effectiveness in preventing the spread of HIV, has invited criticism from public health officials and anti-AIDS activists. The Roman Catholic Church's opposition to contraception includes a prohibition on condoms. The use of condoms specifically to prevent the spread of AIDS has involved Catholic theologians arguing both sides.
Pope Francis’s contraception comments highlight the Catholic Church’s hypocrisy, not progress
Catholic Church and HIV/AIDS - Wikipedia
The clarification follows comments suggesting the Pope accepted their use only in exceptional circumstances. But the Vatican's senior spokesman said the key point was taking the life of the other person into consideration. The comments come from a book based on a series of interviews with the Pope, published on Tuesday. In the text, the Pope appeared to suggest that condoms could reduce the risk of infection in certain circumstances, such as for a male prostitute. The Pope's meaning was questioned because the Italian translation of the book used the feminine form of the word for prostitute, whereas the original German used the masculine. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said he had personally asked the Pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine. 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.
Pope Benedict edges away from total ban on use of condoms
The Vatican has moved to clarify remarks made by the pope on the use of condoms, insisting he had "not reformed or changed the [Roman Catholic] church's teaching". But the statement made clear that Pope Benedict XVI was prepared to consider the use of condoms in certain, limited circumstances. The statement, and the pope's interview reported in a book to be published this week, suggested that, notwithstanding the interpretation of remarks he made last year on his visit to Africa, Benedict accepted that condoms reduced the risk of infection from Aids. His spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said the pontiff's view was that "Aids cannot be solved only by the distribution of condoms". But, he added: "At the same time, the pope considered an exceptional situation in which the exercise of sexuality represents a real risk to the lives of others.
Pope Benedict XVI's announcement, in a book-length interview conducted by Peter Seewald titled modestly, Light of the World , that condom use may be the best choice in some circumstances, is monumental. It is a watershed, because it is the first time that the public health has entered the Catholic Canon. The Catholic position on sex, repeatedly endorsed by Benedict, had been that, since its only legitimate purpose is procreation within marriage, there is no possible role for condoms or other forms of artificial contraception. Thus, as pointed out by Christopher Hitchens, Mother Teresa's net impact on the health of the teeming masses of Calcutta was a negative one, since her primary public health efforts were to forbid and obstruct contraceptive use in a place where unwanted pregnancies meant starvation, stunted lives, and the subjugation of women.