The Vatican's new ruling on condom use is being questioned by conservative elements of the Catholic Church.
Prominent Catholics in the US are rejecting its own explanation of what Pope Benedict XVI (above) said. Several said they would only accept a more formal papal pronouncement.
Others insisted that journalists were misrepresenting the popes comments. Some questioned whether the papal spokesman, the Rev Frederico Lombardi, accurately quoted the Pope.
“It's a mess,” said John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Centre in Philadelphia. “I'm not ready to say that the Pope said what Lombardi said.”