The Vatican has clarified comments on condoms by Pope Benedict XVI, saying their use by men and women to prevent HIV could be an act of responsibility.
The comments suggested he accepted the use of the contraceptives in exceptional circumstances.
But the Vatican's senior spokesperson says the key point was taking the life of the other person into consideration.
The Pope's comments are a book published this week based on a series of interviews.
In the text, the Pope appeared to suggest that condoms could reduce the risk of infection in certain circumstances, such as for a male prostitute.