Spain’s Catholic church has denied it has done a U-turn on condoms.
It has issued a statement saying it had not changed its doctrine which opposes the use of contraceptives.
The statement follows comments by a church representative which appeared to endorse condoms.
The remarks ruffled Catholic feathers around the world and prompted demands for an explanation from several countries.
The man at the centre of the controversy is Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, the spokesman for the Spanish Bishops’ Conference.
After a meeting with the country’s health minister, he declared that contraception “had a place in a global approach to tackling AIDS.”
His comments were seized on as a sign that the church might be revising its traditional teachings which encourage abstinence to prevent the spread of AIDS.
That would have been good news for the Spanish government, which believes contraceptives promote a responsible attitude to sex among young people.
It has launched a series of adverts to raise awareness of the benefits of condoms.