Condom Machine in School Enrages Vatican
Italy's first, church says it 'trivializes sexuality'
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2010 5:00 AM CST
Updated Mar 11, 2010 5:42 AM CST
Demonstrators show condoms on the edge of the Vatican's St. Peter's Square, in Rome, as Pope Benedict XVI was making his return from a one-week visit in Africa, Monday March 23, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

(Newser) – Just a few miles from the Vatican, Italian teens can now buy condoms from vending machines in the bathrooms of their high school—and the Catholic Church is none too happy. In a rebuke to the church's position on birth control, the school yesterday became the first in all of Italy to distribute condoms, a move that has safe sex advocates praising the school's "great courage" while the Vatican voices "deep concern."

"Only in Italy would this cause a stir," an Italian student group said. School officials in Rome began to push for condoms in schools after learning last month that 40% of teenage girls use no contraception and an additional 20% rely on the withdrawal method. A papal spokesmen told the Guardian the school's decision "trivializes sexuality;" the school's principal said he hopes other Italian schools will follow his school's lead.