Pope’s comment on condoms applies also to women and transsexuals
The statement by Pope Benedict XVI on the use of condoms as a lesser evil to prevent transmitting HIV applies equally to women, transsexuals and men.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said recently that according to the pope, it didn’t matter whether the person using the condom was a male, female or transsexual. What is important is the consideration of the life of the sexual partner, the AP reported.
Lombardi was responding to questions arising from the Italian translation of the original German manuscript of the book, Light of the World: The Pope, The Church, and Signs of the Times. The German book uses the male term for prostitute, while the Italian translation uses the female term, the AP said.
The author of the book, German journalist Peter Seewald, wrote the 239-page tome after a series of interviews with the pope for one week. In the past, Seewald had interviewed the pope twice when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and produced two bestsellers, CNN said.
According to Rome Reports, the first two books were entitled “The Salt of the Earth,” and “God and the World.” Benedict is not the first pope to grant an interview for a book, however. His predecessor, John Paul II was interviewed by journalist Vittorio Messori for the book, “Crossing the Threshold of Hope.”
In Light of the World, Benedict said condom use by male prostitutes afflicted with HIV to prevent infection of his partner is a more moral and responsible choice, according to the AP.
Regarding the issue of clergy abuse, Benedict said the Vatican should have responded more quickly. “It would have been the duty of Rome, to say outright to all countries: Look and see if you are in the same situation. Perhaps we should have done this,” AKI reported.
Regarding the victims of clergy abuse, Benedict said, “It is difficult for them to continue to believe the church is a source of good…that the church helps people….I can understand this,” according to AKI.
After the US sex abuse scandals were revealed, similar scandals came to light in Germany, Ireland and Belgium, among other European countries, that took place over decades and involved thousands of victims, according to AKI.
Willing to resign
Benedict, 83, also said he is willing to resign if he is no longer “physically, psychologically and spiritually” able to do his duty, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
No pontiff has ever resigned in the last 700 years, and the Catholic belief is that the papacy is a lifetime job. The last time a pope voluntarily resigned was in 1294, namely, Celestine V, The Sydney Morning Herald said.
Although Benedict is in good health, last year he broke his wrist from a fall when he was having a vacation in the Alps. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Benedict said, “I am sometimes concerned and I wonder whether I can make it even from a physical point of view.”
The Sydney Morning Herald said that this year, it was revealed that John Paul II, Benedict’s predecessor, signed a 1989 document that said if he is incurably ill, he would resign.