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November 20th, 2010
03:58 PM ET

Pope says condoms may be OK in some circumstances

Pope Benedict XVI said in comments released Saturday that the use of condoms may be morally acceptable in some cases to prevent the spread of AIDS, possibly foreshadowing a shift in the Roman Catholic Church's stance on the issue.

The pope's remarks outline an exception to the church's long-held policy against the use of artificial contraception, including condoms.

The pontiff, speaking to the author of a book that will be published next week, cited the example of a prostitute.

"There could be single cases that can be justified, for instance when a prostitute uses a condom, and this can be a first step towards a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, to develop again the awareness of the fact that not all is allowed and that one cannot do everything one wants," Benedict said.

The Vatican newspaper on Saturday released excerpts from the book, "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times," written by German journalist Peter Seewald and pubilshed by Ignatius Press.

"What makes this newsworthy is that he's talking about an exception, where there were no exceptions whatsoever before," said James Martin, a New York Jesuit priest and author.

"Just that the discussion is happening is significant," he added.

CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen cautioned that Benedict's comments do not rise to the level of official Vatican policy, but show the pontiff has flexibility in the church's opposition to birth control.

Allen said that a portion of the book refers to condom use among male prostitutes.

"I think the point he was trying to make, when somebody is using a condom, not so much to prevent new life, which has always been the Catholic Church's big concern, but to prevent the transmission of disease than it would be OK," Allen told CNN.

Although Benedict did not mention it, his statements indicate he may also find condoms appropriate in the case of heterosexual couples where one of the partners has a sexually transmitted disease, Allen added.

Catholic theologians and a special Vatican commission have previously said that condoms may be acceptable in some cases to prevent AIDS, Allen wrote in a blog Saturday.

But Benedict had kept silent on the issue.

Allen said he does not think the pontiff's comments signal a sea change in the church's broader birth control policy, as condoning the use of a condom to prevent the spread of disease is not the same as saying it's okay to use one to prevent a pregnancy.

Still, Benedict's comments open a door and appear to mark a shift in his thinking about condoms and AIDS.

Speaking about AIDS in 2009, he told journalists during a trip to Africa that "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (641 Responses)
  1. think

    Who cares what the Pope thinks?

    He is ignorant in all realms involving reason or compassion.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • phillipp

      before he teach us a lesson about condom, he should try one first

      November 21, 2010 at 3:13 am |
  2. PARROT

    AS A CATHOLIC I HAVE NEVER USED IT.....AND I HAVE 12 KIDS...!!!

    November 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • fajita

      i'll buy you condoms, sheesh. someone like you needs to STOP reproducing already.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Sean

      Hope you can feed them all. What about people in Africa who can not feed their kids, should they wear condoms?

      November 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
    • mickey1313

      And that parrot is the problem. intelagent people use protection and reproduce slowly, while the religous morrons that slood this world dont use protection and populate this world with there filth and trash, live a virus multipling without recorse or responsibality. ayone with more the 2 childeren and an income under sever hundred thousand is a wastse of resorces. For shame on you glutton.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • PARROT

      AND MY WIFE IS MENNONITE...THEY SHARE OUR SAME BELIEF !!...WE ARE PLANNING TO HAVE 5 MORE KIDS, AND CLOSE THE FACTORY!!

      November 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • DanW

      Parrot is a troll, guys. If you've spent any time around here, you should know that. He goes by various names that start with parrot (parrotmocho, parrotsnsals, ec.) and always types in caps.

      @Mickey. You have no cause calling someone else unintelligent.

      November 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • Barry

      Hopefully the "to stupid to find the caps lock key" jean isn't passed on.

      November 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • Barry

      gene

      November 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • Whang Chungg

      PARROT is barely old enough to shave. 12 kids must mean baby goats. lol

      November 20, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  3. whatnext

    Pope says the world may, repeat may, not be flat.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • Whang Chungg

      OMG! Really? OMG!

      November 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      😯

      November 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • Peace2All

      😯

      November 20, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      😮

      November 21, 2010 at 1:52 am |
  4. Aboutphuckntime

    Welcome to the 21st century – Pope a dope. What the hell took you so long?

    November 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  5. Randy Benedick

    It's about time, can you say Pope-alactycs.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Aboutphuckntime

      That's good. I'll have to remember that one.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • Whang Chungg

      LOL – good one!

      November 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  6. toby

    There is absolutely NO evidence for any god God, deity, supernatural force, or divine creator. There is plenty of evidence that people "believe" in a god, but the evidence for the deities existence does not exist. All gods (including the Biblical "God) are fictions; they are the product of people's imaginations and fears. When mankind wakes up from these life-destroying delusions perhaps civilization can flourish.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Trey

      Toby, true but I'd rather believe that there is some sort of being up there.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • Becky

      I hate that mindset "I'd rather believe that something is up there." Would you rather believe in Santa Claus, even though you really know that he does not exist? Yeah, it would be great if Santa was real. But face the truth: he's not. Fooling yourself will not make it any better, even if everyone else is doing it.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Trey

      Beck, and I hate how parents allow children like you to not be aborted. Allow people to hope and think what they want.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • toby

      Trey- " I'd rather believe that there is some sort of being up there." Really Trey? That may be comforting but it does not make it true. A person cannot "will" himself to believe something simply because they wish it to be true. I'm sure you're a decent person, but that statement is simply self-deceptive.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • chris

      toby..God is neither a fiction nor an imagination..God exists..HIS existence is a mystery ...HE does whatsoever HE wills...HE loves you and I..HE is greater than what you can ever think of...take ur time and listen to http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1849169

      November 20, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • mickey1313

      toby, exactly. Absense of evidance is not evidance of absence, except that when there should be overwelming evidance, and it is absent, it is evidance of absence. Nature and evilution, not Jehovah

      November 20, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • Trey

      Toby, nah I don't believe in the whole biblical God, but I rather just know that we can go somewhere after death, because I don't believe the whole rebirth junk.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • Gargoyle

      Its mind boggling how dumb so many people can be!!

      November 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • Trey

      Toby, besides if someone wants to believe then let them. It's not your place to try and change the mind of another person. It does not change your life. No one can prove that their is God, but can you disprove God's existance?

      November 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • Trey

      I mean that "there" is a God. I made a typo.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • DanW

      What drivel.. The French and the Russians both after their respective revolutions decided to do away with God with disatrous consequences. Neither flourished for very long.

      November 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      ' Neither flourished for very long.'
      Oh I dont know, France seemed to last long enough to help the US gain independance. And as far as I know both countries are still around today.

      November 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • Don

      Dan W, your use of non causa/pro causa as regards "removing god" in France and the USSR and their collapse has been noted as the fallacy it is.

      November 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • larvadog

      What I find especially amusing is how people will attempt to use reason or logic to prove or disprove God. God can be neither proved nor disproved. Belief in Him is a matter of faith, which is not subject to attacks of reason or logic. It is furthermore illogical to subject faith to the scrutiny of science or science to that of faith. They are of different realms and have no effect on the other. They just inhabit domains that do not allow themselves to be proven or disproven by the other.

      Therefore, God's existence does not require evidence. Evidence is irrelevant when dealing with faith. In fact, faith can be said to exist only in the absence of evidence. Evidence negates faith.

      Lastly, you cannot "will" God's existence or nonexistence. God either is or He is not. One can only either believe or not, and that is the end of it.

      November 20, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
    • tracy

      Wow. Human kind really has no purpose.We are all simply plasma that might cease to exist tomorrow. There is no hope because we have nothing to hope for. All this intellegence that humanity has had, all these things that are beautiful in nature, the fact that our heart pumps blood through our body every day, the fact that if the earth was even slightly off its axis life could not exist on this planet, all of these countless things we take for granted each and every day, they are ALL simply a fluke, they only happen by chance. Wow... We sure are lucky aren't we? That means I have to believe in that chance to explain ALL of those things? Thats alot.I don't think I feel comfortable with just believing in chance toby, that just leaves too many questions unanswered. That means I would have to have an awlful lot of faith in that answer to so many of those questions...

      November 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
    • andrew

      Educate yourself before you say stupid things like that. Everything that you just said is explained through simple science...

      November 20, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
    • Charlie

      @andrew
      Studying science has only made me realize how even more awesome God and his creation is! Science would not exist if God hadn't created a universe to study! All the intricacies, all the systems within systems, particles, matter, elements, space, time, logic, dreams, and so on...it's kind of funny to see someone call it all just "simple science". None of it really seems that simple, unless maybe you've been studying and/or practicing professional science for many many years. Just the thought that we could evolve all the way from a single cell to an ape and somehow are able to have hopes, dreams, goals, long-term relationships, write books, have debates, solve complicated problems, explore space, and so on...and all this happening by the random chance that the right molecules combined to create the universe? Well, that just seems illogical to me. Studying science has really shown me that God must exist, because the natural order of things tends towards chaos. The Creator has set things in order. That is what makes sense to me.

      November 21, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  7. Gargoyle

    The folks who give the pontiff's pronouncements any power are just as backward as he is!

    November 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  8. Jay

    Wow. What a joke.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  9. MS

    Well it only took them 350 years to forgive they Galileo so I suppose 30 years to get up to date with AIDS isn't so bad

    November 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  10. Copernicus

    In his next pronouncement, the Pope will say that the Catholic church accepts 1) Earth revolving around the sun and not vice-versa, and 2) by extension, the Earth cannot be flat.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • Matt

      LOL!

      November 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • tim Ricard

      The catholic church, never believed the world was flat, and they accepted a geocentric model of the universe based on Artistol, then warped their scriptures to support the classical sciences. Galileo was imprisioned because he was annoying, he was their version of Glen beck

      November 20, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
    • Thinks2010

      TimRichard, yeah, except Galileo used facts.

      November 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
    • kme

      Teach the controversy! ;))

      November 21, 2010 at 12:20 am |
    • Steven

      Actually, that is not possible. According to Mark 13:24-27, 30, Jesus clearly implies the earth is flat and that stars and galaxies are little dots in the night sky. Incidentally, Jesus also teaches us that the moon gives out its own light:

      "the sun will grow dark and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven"

      Given this was supposed to happen 2,000yrs ago: "Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place", we can rest assured that Jesus must have made a mistake somewhere...

      November 21, 2010 at 1:34 am |
    • Charlie

      @Steven
      Actually, that's taking it a bit literally. That description about the stars and the moon does not necessarily refer the stars actually falling from the sky or the light "going out" from the moon. It's just terms that were commonly used to describe, essentially, Judgment Day. And when it says "this generation" it's probably describing the generation living when the signs begin to occur.

      I actually have an uncle that seems to be a bit too focused on looking for details or "clues" in the Bible about when exactly the end of the world will come. What concerns me is that most people, whether they're Christian or not, are too wrapped up in the details of it all, and are forgetting the whole point. We're all flawed, we all need to be saved, no one is perfect, but treat everyone with love and respect. All the laws and commandments boil down to this: love God, and love everyone that you come in contact with. If anyone tried to follow every single law in the Bible, they would fail. It's impossible. But that doesn't mean that God doesn't love us, or that we're condemned to hell. Jesus took for us all that shame, all that guilt, all that physical, emotion, mental, and spiritual baggage upon himself. All we have to do is let go of it all, and stay strong in faith and love toward one another.

      November 21, 2010 at 8:12 am |
    • ScottK

      @Charlie – I find it funny how many Christians hide behind the old "Your taking it too literal" bible defense when they read a scripture that doesnt fit with what we now know in the modern world. Of course if its about something they still agree with like the "men who lie with men" scripture that should be taken literaly instead of saying "well, what the bible really meant there was that men who lie TO other men wont inherit the kingdom..."

      Or...
      "Thou shalt not kill" – "God did not really tell us not to kill, only not to kill Christians."
      "Thou shalt not commit idolotry" – "Unless of course its a tacky plastic Jesus on a cross that plays holiday music"
      "Remember and keep the sabbath" – "Unless its the weekend and all and Ive had a tough week at work"
      "Honor your father & mother" – "Unless they arent Christians, then see rule #1"
      "Do not commit adultery" – "Unless your some sort of religous leader or pastor who cant help themselves"
      "Do not bear false witness against your neighbor" – "Unless he's not Christian, then see rule number 1 and lie all you want to get him thrown out of your neighborhood, ends justify the means"
      "Do not covet your neighbors wife" – "Unless she's really hot and the American education system never taught me what covet means..."

      November 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  11. steve505

    Welcome to the modern world, Catholic Church. I guess all that new age science and stuff isn't so bad after all, huh?

    November 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  12. Chris

    That is up to the individual to decide. Not the pope.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • Trey

      Chris, you are right. The pope has no say in what a person decides to do or use.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
    • phillipp

      6.8 billion people needs 6.8 billion religion

      November 21, 2010 at 2:39 am |
    • Terry

      Have you read the Bible? All the way through? It tells you many things you need to know to live in Chris

      November 23, 2010 at 4:07 am |
  13. Ryan

    well, we can all sleep soundly now, the pope says it's ok!!!

    November 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      He says we can all sleep soundly now? It's about time!

      November 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • David E

      That was refreshing!

      November 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • LdftRightLef

      I sleep soundly whether I used a condom or not. Who would buy the condoms for the Pope?

      November 20, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  14. Trey

    This is why the Catholic faith is wrong. To have one man determine what is okay and what is not. You can not allow a man decide the rules of God, as God's rules do not change.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • Sevres Blue

      I went to an all-girls Catholic High School in the early 70's. Our nuns told us that we must decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong, we must use our brains AND our hearts.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • Gargoyle

      Yes but the pope is privy to God's email address!

      November 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • toby

      Well, if that's true then it must still be permissible to stone a bride to death after discovering that she is not a virgin on her wedding night (Deut. 22 13-21), death for working on the sabbath (Exodus 35:2), or other such barbarism. If there is a god (and I don't believe there is) then you're correct; his laws do not change. What DOES change is people's willingness to go along with sickly, barbaric ideas simply because they are found in an ancient text and purported to be the "Will of God." When people think for themselves instead of being led by the nose by a corrupt organization like the RCC, then progress in morality and ethics can be meaningful and productive. The problem is that so many religious people let others (i.e.Pope, Bible, etc) TELL them what to think and what to believe instead of actually using their own brains and deciding right from wrong themselves.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Gods laws? I hate to break it to you son, but man created god, not the other way around. But certanally your right that some dried up prude shouldnt be in charge of anyone morality. Ive read the "good book" and anyone who believes in it has no moral athority and little respect for there fellow man.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Curious?

      I hope you don't think your brains are between your legs? Ever hear the expression: "I'm gonna phuck your brains out."

      November 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • CM

      That's the problem with any and all religions... it all hinges on some guy or group of people putting forward an edict that "is the word of God." Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim or Jew, it's all somebody's personal idea of what "God" demands. It's always been a fabrication made up by people who want to control others, explain the unexplained, abdicate responsibility for deeds done, and mask our fears and prejudices by calling it "god's will."

      November 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • lolomgsh

      Actually toby, you are wrong. Jesus cancelled such idiotic laws. He was the biggest critic of the bible to ever exist. You fail.

      November 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
    • Jay

      @lolomgsh
      Jesus cancelled these laws? Citations for proof please. How many times did mr. Jesus say, "only through my father?" Youre saying the son of god is more powerful, and has the final say? The almighty creator of the universe, all knowing and all powerful made mistakes? That's laughable. Of course, god did say thou shall not kill, yet killed left and right through the old testament... OMG!! I make mistakes too! God and I are the same, I'm converted and saved!!!:-DDD

      November 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • THR

      Read your Bible. Christ gave his Spirit and authority to the disciples and instructed them to act and speak in his name, and gave them the authority to do the same to others. You CAN'T have it both ways; you either believe that the New Testament is true in its entirety or you don't believe it at all. I'm not saying that he's not a flawed human being who can be wrong at times – VERY wrong, obviously. But you can't cherry-pick what you like out of the New Testament and then ignore what you don't like, either.
      THAT'S the test. Most people fail it, because the eye of the needle is THAT narrow.

      November 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • THR

      You know seriously, Mickey 1013, why do you try to imply that you have some sort of "life wisdom from experience" and then present a personal opinion which disrespects the opinions of others as if it were a fact? Your belief system of atheism is just that, not a bunch of "facts." You make a case much more powerfully if you state your opinions as such and then respectfully listen to the opinions of others. There are some VERY wise people who believe in God. Listen first, THEN talk; offer an opinion with love and respect, then maybe you'll eventually gain some wisdom. Usually when someone says "I am wise so listen" (as you so bluntly implied) it's considered to be a clear signal that they "have a ways to go yet."

      November 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • rosie

      you are sooo right. of all the comments on here, i couldnt agree more with you. my boyfriend is catholic and he threw a chair at me when he found out i was on birth control. lol and this was after i had his son. yet we arent married. this religion is FULL of hypocrites. its disgusting. and they are also full of child rapists. and it gets swept under the rug.

      November 20, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • LdftRightLef

      I'm late in getting here.

      SevresBlue: My girlfriend (Catholic) told me something similar to what you said. You said the nuns told you that you must use your brain AND hearts. My girlfriend said it was that they were told that they must use their head AND hearts. Never thought anything was wrong with that advice.

      November 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
    • phillipp

      there are nothing wrong with religions..there is something wrong with people that runs the religion

      November 21, 2010 at 2:36 am |
    • Yeah

      THR,
      "But you can't cherry-pick what you like out of the New Testament and then ignore what you don't like, either."

      But that's what *was* done extensively by early monks, priests, scribes and councils of the church. You might read up on how the canon of the New Testament was assembled. They cherry-picked to beat the band...

      November 21, 2010 at 3:19 am |
    • Yeah

      THR,
      "...you either believe that the New Testament is true in its entirety or you don't believe it at all."

      Perhaps you will also be brave enough to look up the errors and contradictions in the New Testament.

      November 21, 2010 at 3:27 am |
    • ScottK

      @THR – you said "you try to imply that you have some sort of "life wisdom from experience" and then present a personal opinion which disrespects the opinions of others as if it were a fact? "

      Life wisdom from experience IS fact since its wisdom gained from an actual "factual" experience. Bible wisdom is not based on any experience anyone has had for 2000 years if at all. Should I take the bibles "facts" when deciding what shoes to wear when walking on water? Should I take the bibles "facts" when throwing stones at my disrespectful children?

      Im sure you would feel terrible for laughing at the guy in the mental hospital who thinks he's Lincoln, or maybe Jesus, because you really hate to disrespect peoples opinions. Reallity is you dont give a rats a$$ unless they are YOUR opinions being besmirched and laughed at.

      November 22, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  15. BJangles

    Why is this matter? How is he relevant in this?

    November 20, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Terry

      Sham on you!

      November 23, 2010 at 4:06 am |
  16. Luke

    Nice going pope. You're only a few dozen decades late. What's next, going to state that protecting pedophiles is not ok?

    November 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • PJ

      He could never say that!! The 80 Cardinals who owed him and coronated him would be furious. He should disband the Legion of Christ Order founded by the greates Pedophile of the 20th century instead of taking the Pedophile Order under his Holy Wing. Check out the Legion of Christ History. You will be shocked.

      November 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      That will never happen, I think it's like a prerequisite to be a Catholic Priest these days.

      November 20, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  17. Reality

    The "skinny" about male condoms for edification of Benedict and his "celibates". Hopefully, next time they will cover the complete story of condom use.

    FIRST-YEAR CO-NTRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES (Gutt-macher Insti-tute)

    Percentage of women (men) experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few examples)

    Method Typical

    Pill (combined) 8.7
    Tubal sterilization 0.7
    Male condom 17.4
    Vasectomy 0.2

    Periodic abstinence 25.3
    Calendar 9.0
    Ovulation Method 3.0
    Sympto-thermal 2.0
    Post-ovulation 1.0

    No method 85.0"

    (Abstinence) 0

    (Masturbation) 0

    Using more facts about condoms from http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html: For male co-ndoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level) and factoring the number of men who use male condoms, there are 1,200,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of male co-ndom use. And condoms are supposed to prevent AIDS?????

    The Guttmacher Inst-itute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
    (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male co-ndom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies)

    Obviously, many men do not use condoms properly or are in a se-xual/drunken stupor and forget to use them!!

    November 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • GeorgeVT

      or the men/women responding are simply LYING about it

      November 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • Really?

      Didn't Mary get pregnant through abstinence?

      November 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • V01D

      Abstinence didn't work out so well for Mary, did it?

      November 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • John

      "(Masturbation) 0 " this was absolutely idiotic to put in that list.

      November 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
    • Whang Chungg

      Masturbation is a form of se-x. And don't knock it if you haven't tried it. (stupid filter! Grr!)

      November 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • Dan

      Interesting statistics, but irrelevant to the topic at hand...disease prevention. With very little exception, ONLY barrier methods (such as condoms) are effective against the spread of STDs/AIDS.

      November 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • Dan

      That isn't how the statistics were presented. You have (abstinence) in parentheses with a failure rate of 0%, but studies have shown that abstinence has a much poorer track record than condoms. In fact, the website you cited lists periodic abstinence with a failure rate of 25.3%, not 0%.

      The website presents perfect use alongside typical use for all methods, but you seem to have deleted that column and made only a passing reference to it below the numbers.

      November 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • Dan

      Btw I'm a different Dan than the one who posted at 6:15.

      November 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Really?
      You asked: "Didn't Mary get pregnant through abstinence?"

      Some think Mary got pregnant by a Roman archer named Pantera. It wasn't abstinence. It was his arrow.

      Happy Trails!

      November 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
    • Basic 101

      @reality where ever in your statistic you have the word pregnancy or unplanned pregnancy replaced the word with AIDS for if the condom failed for a big sperm it also failed for the tiny HIV- virus! Condoms are ineffective!

      November 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
    • Non-Catholic

      Reply to Reality:

      Abstinence is only 99.9% of the time. Remember the Virgin Mary.

      November 20, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      DON'T LISTEN TO BASIC 101!
      Go to cdc.gov and get the best information from a reliable source, not some kid named "Basic 101".

      November 20, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
    • Reality

      Summarizing the previous comment:

      Using Guttmacher Inst-itute data on birth control method failure rates, one is able to calculate the number of unplanned pregnancies resulting from the current use of male condoms. It is an horrific number of 1.2 million/yr. Even perfect use of would result in 138,000 unplanned pregnancies.

      (And what is the abortion rate in the USA? ~1,000,000/yr CDC data.)

      And B16 expects male condoms to prevent contracting AIDs?

      Conclusion: currently, a perfect barrier system does not exist. Time to develop one. In the meantime, mono-masturbation or mutual masturbation for heterose-xuals are highly recommended for those at risk. Abstinence is the another best-solution but obviously the se-x drive typically vitiates this option although being biological would it not be able to develop a drug to temporarily eliminate said drive?

      November 21, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  18. joe black

    So is adultery ok? I'm lost now

    November 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • evoc

      Only with a h00ker.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • Whang Chungg

      What about adultery by two youngsters who are not considered adults? Is it still adultery?

      November 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • zedd

      what... you don't think married couples use condoms?

      November 20, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
    • LdftRightLef

      Sorry I'm so late here. Watched two good movies. According to Webster's, one party during male, female intercouse must be married to a person other than the person with whom they are having the intercourse. The term does not apply if neither party is married. So, if you are not married and your partner is not married...I guess you can just have fun, and yes, do use the condom. Abstinence is a silly, unrealistic proposition. As far as religions go, they make the rules as conveniences what they preach. If God made you and me in His likeness, then we all know what it is that He likes.

      November 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
    • Advanced 102

      @Basic101- Needle exchanges have been proven to reduce disease such as AIDS and Hep C by as much as 90%!!!! Addiction is a disease (according to the AMA and every educated medical professional). Do you really think that giving out needles is going to make people start using drugs? IF someone gave you a needle would you just all of a sudden start shooting heroin? No. But to those whose addiction progresses to that point, they will do anything to get high (or, as is the case with heroin, to NOT be horribly sick). This includes using a needle that has already been used. The sickness is so awful, that you lose all grip of logic or reason and will do anything to stop it. That is why AIDS/HEP is so prevalent in IV drug users. The places where users have clean needles readily available have shown to have very little needle sharing. Oh, and those areas also see no increase in drug use! It is immoral NOT to do it!

      November 21, 2010 at 12:00 am |
    • Jeepers

      Yes, and if I understand it correctly, male h00kers in particular.

      November 21, 2010 at 1:04 am |
    • IronBoar

      @evoc – haha! Thanks for the good laugh.

      November 21, 2010 at 4:51 am |
  19. Chris

    Is this some kind of a joke? Unbelievable!

    November 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • elidude

      "Is this some kind of joke?" is what the world has been asking for the last, what 30 years as AIDS has killed millions upon millions and they've hugged their precious theology in the corner humming to themselves!

      November 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • Sue

      I'm with you. I can't believe what I just read...<<<>>>

      November 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • jon

      It's unbelievable because it isn't true. CNN didn't include the whole excerpt and outright lied in their headline.

      November 20, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
    • Adam

      Religion appears to add a great deal of hope and meaning which is so wonderful. Although to think people still worship a ghost written about in a time when they KNEW WITHOUT A DOUBT the earth was the center of the universe and was created in 7 days is VERY wild to me.

      November 20, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Chris

      I heard a rumor in church this morning, that the Pope was planning to announce abortion might also be acceptable in some cases. Like, if a woman became pregnant and didn't want the baby. God works in mysterious ways.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  20. Pat

    I guess every sperm is not in fact sacred.

    November 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Cason

      I don't believe the chance of catching AIDS without a condom is 20%. Let alone with a condom. And if you are referring only to the chance of a condom breaking, well I don't buy that either. As an avid condom user, as in I use them at least 4-5 times a week, I have NEVER had a condom break. If you have had 1/5 condoms break, you are doing it wrong.

      November 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
    • Basic 101

      @Cason there are a number of reason for condom failure other than breaks. No method of contraception on the market is foolproof read the package other than the one between your legs. Regardless, the failure rates of condoms are too high to take the risk for an incurable, deadly disease like AIDS. Only vector for 100% prevention of spreading is abstinence. And the other is fidelity to one life time partne.

      November 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Basic 101

      ....partne = partner, sorry 🙂

      November 20, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
    • JB

      You are extremely unrealistic, Basic101. As your name implies, your rationalization of the problem is basic. S ex is going to happen, abstinence is not, especially in African culture. And to clarify condom use for you, it has an 85-90% effectiveness when used alone. It may not be a 100% effective, but it's certainly better than nothing whenever you are going to have s ex ...and let me assure you, people ARE going to have s ex.

      November 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Don't listen to "Basic 101" for any facts. Go to cdc.gov and get the straight facts from the best source.

      I've already found "Basic 101" to be massively incorrect in what is said, so check it out at cdc.gov. Exaggerations and outright lies aren't helping anyone but "Basic 101" with his "lulz".

      November 20, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
    • Diane

      Over-population is a problem. Haiti comes to mind. Pardon the pun.

      November 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • waremtae

      LMAO!

      November 20, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
    • God

      Every pope is not sacred.

      November 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
    • endrew

      May be he got tired of people sending in used condom because he said it's sacred.

      November 20, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
    • Nursehope

      Basic 101: Male condom's efficacy against pregnancy=98% Have you read the instructions?

      November 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • GillenH20

      Every sperm is sacred...Every sperm is great...When a sperm gets wasted, God gets quite IRATE!

      November 20, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
    • grammar police

      Corrected:
      "I think the point he was trying to make, when somebody is using a condom, not so much to prevent new life, which has always been the Catholic Church's big concern, but to prevent the transmission of disease then it would be OK," Allen told CNN.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:44 am |
    • What about...

      ...eggs? By the same illogical logic, every month a woman isn't pregnant and has a period, she's wasting eggs.

      ps. Diane...how is what you said a pun???

      November 21, 2010 at 1:00 am |
    • Diane

      Yeah, the Pope was watching Haiti on the TV, and he thought the same thing that most of us people with common-sense thought – Gosh, how come there are so many people? There are more people on that tiny little island that it can handle. Yeah, Condoms sound like a very good idea.. A very good one.. 🙂 The first good news I have heard from the Pope in over 2 decades.

      November 21, 2010 at 1:25 am |
    • Gary HB

      I can't believe that people still believe these religious myths in the year 2010. All of you need to put down the bible, and pick up a science text book.

      November 21, 2010 at 2:27 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Cason

      I use 'em 7 days a week, and I buy the magnums! The fit is a bit snug, so I have had problems with them bursting.

      *Proud to be helpful*

      November 21, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • Joel

      why use a condom when females use the pill now thats the ultimate way of preventing pregnancy but when it comes to disease yes i fully understand the churches opinion on it.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:18 am |
    • LdftRightLef

      I'm sorry Pat, but I just can't resist this (it's the devil you know). But anyway, yes, I mean no, no, no, it is sacred! So, just swallow the sacred sperm...don't chew...that's it just swallow...that a girl. No condoms for us, no sir!

      I just can't stop chuckling at my own humor.

      November 22, 2010 at 8:40 am |
    • Frogist

      @Joel: Even the pill isn't 100% and not all women use the pill as it can be a danger to your health. Also, you might want to note every single chemical contraceptive commercial which will tell you that the pill does not prevent transmission of STDs.

      November 22, 2010 at 10:15 am |
    • Terry

      But the Pope is the head of the Church! How can you say such terrible things about him?

      November 23, 2010 at 4:05 am |
    • Ray H

      Um, Once again,

      A change of plan – Another Pope changes his mine – a little late, don't yer think – how many have had to suffer ?

      When will those who profess to know so much about God and call themselves Christians, stop looking to Ancient Greek (Philosophy) for fulfillment of the Truth of Christianity and get their heads into the Bible (The Holy Scriptures) which is the essence of all truth?

      When will those who have little or no idea about the real world we live learn that what they say effects millions and often to the detriment, and I mean Millions of people.

      January 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.