MSNBC is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI's comments about condom use being a lesser evil than transmitting HIV also apply to women, the Vatican said Tuesday, a significant shift for a pope who just last year said condoms only worsen the AIDS problem. Benedict said in a book, Light of the World, released Tuesday that condom use by people such as male prostitutes was a lesser evil because it indicated they were taking a step toward a more moral and responsible sexuality by aiming to protect their partner from a deadly infection. His comments implied that he was referring primarily to homosexual sex, when condoms aren't being used as a form of contraception, which the Vatican opposes. When controversy arose over the translation โ€” that is, the pope used the feminine of prostitute in the book, but the masculine was translated in German, which led people to think that he was talking about male prostitutes. Talk about a who's-on-first moment. The pope clarified his position, stating it really didn't matter, that the important thing was the person in question took into consideration the life of the other, according to the Vatican spokesperson. That applies to the use of condoms in general: saving lives.

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