[Cover of the Sun reading “AIDS HORROR, AILING POPE’S LAST BATTLE”]

While this tabloid cover may have stopped readers cold in the checkout line, the story inside reported only on a maverick Vatican official who characterized condoms as “a lesser evil” than spreading HIV. Soon after, church reps denied that the Pope’s rigid no-rubber rule had become “more tolerant” and said that theologians who trumpeted the change had “distorted church policy.”

-- 10.24.00