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NEWS: Pope Francis, Influenced by Nuns in Congo History, Allows Contraception in Zika Virus Case

Pope Francis suggested Thursday that the use of contraception may be justified in countries combating the Zika virus.
The
head of the Roman Catholic Church made his surprising statement on
Thursday during his flight back to the Vatican from Mexico, where he
spent six days touring the Latin American country and speaking on issues
like government corruption, immigration, and drug trade.
When speaking about the fast-spreading Zika virus, Francis said the
use of contraception “isn’t an absolute evil” in fighting the disease,
which is spread by mosquitos and causes birth defects, including
microcephaly in newborns.
The pontiff pointed to a statement made
by Pope Paul VI in the 1960’s that stated nuns with a high risk of
suffering rape in the Congo may use contraception to avoid pregnancy.
“Avoiding
pregnancy isn’t an absolute evil, and in certain cases such as this
one, as in that one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear,” the
pope told reporters. “I would also ask doctors to do their utmost to
find vaccines against these mosquitoes that carry this disease. This
needs to be worked on.”
Francis also clarified that while
contraception may be the lesser of two evils, abortion still remains “an
absolute evil” that should never be considered when fighting the
disease.
“Abortion is never the lesser evil, it’s a crime,”
Francis continued. “It’s to discard one to save another one. It’s what
Mafia does; it’s a crime, an absolute evil.”
However, contrary to
Pope Francis’ statement on Thursday, several Catholic bishops in South
America have said in past weeks that abortion and contraception are not
acceptable methods for combatting the Zika virus.
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