Pope Benedict XVI has said the use of condoms is acceptable in exceptional circumstances, according to a new book.
He said condoms could reduce the risk of HIV infection, such as for a male prostitute, in a series of interviews given to a German journalist.
But he said a more humane attitude to sexuality, and not condom use, was the proper way to combat HIV infection.
The comments were made in a new book, which the Vatican newspaper ran excerpts of in its Saturday edition.
The Church's hardline stance over contraception has led to the Vatican being heavily criticised for its position in the context of the Aids crisis.
Why is this guy given a soapbox to air his archaic views? Now these comments - dragging him into perhaps the 20th century, rather than the 21st, are being hailed and 'welcomed' as some sort of great bold step for the Catholic church.
I was brought up a Catholic (though I'm an atheist), went to Catholic schools, etc, but how much longer can such a backwards church stay relevant?