Forgive me for being underwhelmed about the Pope deciding, finally, that condoms do have a role to play in stopping the spread of HIV and are not evil incarnate or making the problem worse. I just can’t get worked up enough to get him a biscuit for it. Because this isn’t some huge, progressive step – okay, it is for the Catholic Church, who still equate women being ordained with paedophilia – rather, it is a tiny step from the Vatican towards getting in line with the real world and what is necessary there.
I am, however, glad he’s said it. Not because this is a great gesture, but because this will be a great gesture for the many, many Catholics out there. This small step should hopefully encourage those who were religiously opposed to using condoms to use them for the purpose of preventing the spread of HIV.
It is a great shame that the Catholic Church took the hardline stance for so many years; that stance will have cost many people their lives. This step can’t undo that damage. Nothing can. Hopefully though it will go some way towards preventing others suffering.