According to Dr Ramsammy, who made the comment to reporters last Sunday, human beings are supposed to use the wisdom and knowledge that God gave them to protect themselves as “it is not just protecting ourselves from our own vices [but from partners] and therefore condoms protect us.”
“I believe that it was a wise decision, even though it is couched, that is for people protecting themselves against HIV, but if that is the way he could find it acceptable then the result of prevention of unwanted pregnancy would still result,” the minister said. The Catholic Church has traditionally been opposed to the use of condoms.
Ramsammy said the bottom line is the fact that the church has sanctioned the use of condoms which is a decision that should have been taken a long time ago but “it is better late than never.”
Ramsammy said that the Pope’s decision must have been influenced by the growing evidence that is “staring at him and it is hard cold facts, this Pope prides himself as being an intellectual Pope… he prides himself as one that is intellectual, one that looks at evidence and so on and the evidence was always there and I am glad that the church was able to look at the evidence and come to a conclusion.”
The minister said he is satisfied now that there is a stronger coalition in promoting one of the technologies that can really protect people not only against HIV but from other sexually transmitted diseases and also reduce unwanted pregnancies.
In a new book the Pope has said that using condoms may sometimes be justified to stop the spread of AIDS, comments that are seen as relaxing one of the Vatican’s most controversial positions.
According to a Reuters report, excerpts of which were published in the Vatican newspaper, the Pope cites the example of the use of condoms by prostitutes as “a first step towards moralization,” even though condoms are “not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.”
Last year, the Pope caused an international uproar when he told journalists accompanying him to Africa that condoms should not be used because they could worsen the spread of AIDS.
The Vatican’s opposition to artificial birth control has been highly contested, even by many Catholics, since it was formalized in the late Pope Paul’s encyclical Humanae Vitae (On Human Life) in 1968.
Benedict says that “the basic lines of Humanae Vitae are still correct,” indicating that his comments about condoms are not intended to apply to birth control, only to AIDS prevention.
He said that the “sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalisation of sexuality” where sexuality is no longer an expression of love “but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves.”