The Catholic church and its followers are running the gamut of reactions in response to Pope Benedict XVI's surprising support of condoms. The Pope recently addressed the issue in his interview with a German journalist entitled "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times." The interview will be available Tuesday but the content is quickly causing a firestorm across the globe.
In the interview, the Pope declared that condoms may be safe in some limited situations, such as the case of male prostitutes. The Pope specifically stated that condoms are not a moral solution for stopping the spread of disease but may very well be used "in the intention of reducing the risk of [HIV/AIDS] infection."
The Pope further offered condoms are "a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way of living sexuality" but maintained abstinence and marital fidelity are the only ways to manage the disease.
The Vatican quickly addressed the Pope's condom comments on Sunday, with a chief spokesman issuing a statement maintaining the church's stance on artificial contraceptives: they are still forbidden and the Church's teachings are not "reforming or changing." Many find the Pope's comments a blatant disrespect for the church's fundamental beliefs, while others are proclaiming his comments as "enlightened" for holding human life sacred.