Believers welcome Pope's comments

Churchgoers had praise and wariness for the Pope’s comments that condoms could be morally justified in some limited situations, such as for male prostitutes wanting to prevent the spread of HIV.

Others cautioned it could open a doctrinal Pandora’s box. And the exact meaning of what the pope said was still up for interpretation.

“That’s a theological mind trap,” said Wendy Lasekan, a 47-year-old stay-at-home mom, after Sunday morning Mass at Saint Michael Catholic Church in Worthington, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus.

“In some cases, it would be justifiable — or acceptable — to use a condom,” she said. “If your goal would be to prevent the spread of AIDS, that would be a charitable act.”

Ellen Reik, a 79-year-old retired housewife, said if taken out of context, the Pope’s remarks could renew the debate over the morality of birth control — both as a contraceptive and a means to curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Several more believers in the United States and South America felt the comments marked a tentative step into a more modern stance in the global fight against AIDS.

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