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.