Pope Francis has made a huge announcement, he thinks that the use of contraception could be justified in regions hit by the Zika virus. But his comments aren’t backed by some Catholic leaders in Latin America.
Pope Francis declared that he prefers contraceptives to be used to prevent the spread of the Zika virus over abortions, during a press conference aboard a flight from Mexico to Rome on Feb. 18. This comment goes against the church’s longstanding ban on most forms of birth control!
Pope Francis has shocked conservative Catholics with his latest comments surrounding the widespread of Zika. During his latest press conference, he was asked if the church should consider contraception over the possibility of women aborting fetuses infected with Zika. He told reporters that unlike abortion, “avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil” and in certain circumstances it may be “the lesser evil”, according to The Guardian. “It is to kill someone in order to save another. This is what the Mafia does,” Pope Francis said. “On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil.”
Abortion is banned or highly restricted in many countries affected by the Zika crisis. Previously, the Catholic church in Brazil stated it strongly opposed a move to permit abortions for pregnant women exposed to the Zika virus. “There is no justification to defend abortion,” it said. Yet, Pope Francis’ comments do NOT sit well with some Catholic leaders in Latin America. “Contraceptives are not a solution,” sBishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, the secretary general of the National Council of Bishops of Brazil, told The New York Times. “There is not a single change in the church’s position.”
With this latest reported development with the spread of Zika, Zachary Thompson, the director of the DCHHS, said they are “[increasing] our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others.” The director also said that next to abstinence, “condoms are the best prevention method against sexually-transmitted infections.”
HollywoodLifers — what do you think about the Pope’s big announcement? Sound off below!