The Vatican's chief spokesman is cautioning that there is nothing "revolutionary" in the pope's saying that condom use can be an act of responsibility in exceptional situations.
The Rev Federico Lombardi says in a statement Sunday that the pope is neither "reforming or changing" the Church's teaching, which forbids use of condoms and other contraceptives.
He is reacting to the Vatican's publication of excerpts of a book about the pope.
Benedict says in an interview in the book that in certain cases, such as for a male prostitute, condom use could be a first step toward assuming responsibility.
Lombardi is stressing that the church doesn't consider condoms the "moral solution" to the AIDS problem.