Vatican City, Nov 20, 2010 / 17:39 pm
Excerpts of Pope Benedict XVI’s new book are already causing a stir. Though some media reports claim he offers a change in papal teaching about condom use, Pope Benedict in fact says that a humanized sexuality, not condoms, is the right response to HIV.
The Nov. 21 edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano (LOR) will release excerpts of the pontiff’s book "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times.”
The book contains the Pope's responses to questions from Peter Seewald, a German reporter who spoke with him over a week last summer about the most sensitive and important questions in Church life today.
The themes treated in the book are edgy and the reception of the Pope's words is likely to be varied. But his answers offer readers a unique look into his teachings and his perspective on the Church and the world.
In the excerpts offered in LOR, just two brief paragraphs provide the Pope's response to a question on sexuality in the world today. He says that concentrating on the use of the condom only serves to trivialize sexuality.
This trivialization leads many people to no longer see sex as an expression of love, but as a self-administered drug. The fight against the banalization of sexuality is part of a great effort to change this view to a more positive one.
According to one much-commented excerpt printed in L'Osservatore Romano, the Pope concedes that there can be single cases in which the use of a condom may be justified.
He uses the example of prostitutes who might use prophylactics as a first step toward moralization, that is, becoming moral. In such a case, condom use might be their first act of responsibility to redevelop their consciousness of the fact that not everything is permitted and that one cannot do everything one wants.