Pope Benedict’s unexpected citing of a rare exception to the church’s no-condoms teaching makes no change in Catholicism’s teachings on contraception. And he reiterates his controversial comments from his visit to Africa that condoms are not the answer to combating HIV/AIDs.

Yet his mention of allowing a male prostitute to use condoms is the first big headline, leaked in a Vatican newspaper, from a new series of interviews with the pontiff. In a new book to be released Tuesday, the pope says such an exception could be seen as a “first step” toward a “humanization of sexuality.”

Immediately, the Internet and some newscasts lit up with a breathless mangling of the pope’s comments and their significance, says Catholic author and blogger Amy Wellborn. She was among the select few to have an advance, embargoed text of the book, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times.

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