Pope seeks debate on condoms and AIDS

VATICAN CITY (AP) - A Vatican insider says Pope Benedict XVI is seeking to"kick-start a debate" with his suggestion that using condoms couldbe acceptable in some cases as a means of fighting AIDS.

Benedict said in an interview that for some people, such as maleprostitutes, using condoms could show moral responsibility becausethe intent is to reduce infection. Theologians have long beenstudying the possibility of condoning such limited condom use as alesser evil.

One Vatican official said Monday he believes the pope just"decided to do it" and get a debate going.

The pope did not suggest using condoms as birth control, whichis banned by the Roman Catholic church.