The thing about Pope Benedict XVI is not to underestimate him. He has a brain, he has lived a long time, and he may just know exactly what he is doing when he says or writes something. In this report (being noticed across the world) he says something in a published interview which acknowledges the faint possibility that a condom might have its uses:
"Church teaching has long opposed condoms because they are a form of artificial contraception, although it has never released an explicit policy about condoms and HIV. The Vatican has been harshly criticized for its opposition.
Benedict said that condoms are not a moral solution. But he said in some cases, such as for male prostitutes, they could be justified "in the intention of reducing the risk of infection."
Benedict called it "a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way of living sexuality."
He used as an example male prostitutes, for whom contraception is not an issue, as opposed to married couples where one spouse is infected. The Vatican has come under pressure from even some church officials in Africa to condone condom use for monogamous married couples to protect the uninfected spouse from getting infected."
Note the careful wording here. Not condom use as a contraception but as a prophylactic. A risky move raising the hypothesis of a male prostitute using a condom, but steering clear of the context of married, potential-for-procreative sex. But why say this at all?
It has to be at least possible that wily Benedict is opening the door to a softening of the Roman view on contraception which is the least popular, least adhered to teaching of the church of recent times. He may not say anything more in his lifetime but he has thrown the next pope a lifeline. Bit by bit of undoing and reversing is the way to undo an infallible decision without looking too obviously like admitting to fallibility!