18 February 2016

Pope Suggests Contraception Use May Be 'Lesser Evil' For Those Fearing Zika 18FEB16

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I'M not Catholic, but I generally like Pope Francis. He seems to be a genuine Pope for the Church, for the people, living a Christian life, leading a Christian church. Then he comes out with this ancient male proclamation granting permission for women to use contraception to avoid getting pregnant during the Zika virus crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean. He condemns abortion in response to Zika as "a crime, an absolute evil." There would be nothing wrong with this great proclamation if he had also announced the Vatican would be establishing facilities throughout the nations dealing with the Zika virus, providing compassionate Christian care for the children and families damaged by Zika for as long as they need it. 
Pope Francis speaks to journalists Thursday aboard a flight from Mexico to Italy.
Pope Francis speaks to journalists Thursday aboard a flight from Mexico to Italy.
Alessandro Di Meo/AFP/Getty Images
In wide-ranging comments aboard the papal plane, Pope Francis suggested to reporters that it might be acceptable for those fearing the Zika virus to use contraception.
The pope did not explicitly approve the use of contraception as he spoke during the flight from Mexico to Rome. But he drew a distinction between the use of abortion to respond to the threat of Zika — which he categorically opposed — and the hypothetical use of contraception.
There are concerns that the Zika virus, currently raging across Latin America, may be linked to cases of microcephaly, a severe birth defect.
A reporter on the plane had asked the pope how he felt about advice from some authorities that women at risk of Zika have abortions, and whether contraception would be the lesser of two evils, The Associated Press reports.
"Abortion is not a lesser evil. It is a crime. It is killing one person to save another. It is what the Mafia does," Francis said, according to an AP translation. "It is a crime. It is an absolute evil."
But contraception is different, the pope said, noting that "avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil," the AP writes.
The Vatican press office described the pope's remarks on contraception: "Using contraceptives to avoid pregnancy can be acceptable in difficult situations, he said, noting that Pope Paul VI authorized nuns in Africa to do the same half a century ago when they were threatened with rape."
That exceptional dispensation from Paul VI was not publicized at the time, the AP writes, and little is known about it.