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Full Version: Pope signals possible limited opening contraception in Zika cases
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Look, he's done it again...I'm sure I'll be getting lots of questions from friends & family.  any insight into what he may be talking about or how this could possibly be in line with Catholic doctrine?  At the moment I'm inclined to just explain that Pope Francis is 100% incorrect on this point and he is not talking authoritatively but that tends to be seen as a poor argument by non-Catholics in my experience.

The Holy Father sure seems to enjoy making it difficult to be a good faithful Catholic.  :crazy:  Let us pray for him.




http://news.yahoo.com/pope-signals-possi...nance.html


Quote:ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis has appeared to open the door to a possible limited softening of the Roman Catholic Church's ban on contraception because of the Zika virus.

    But the Argentine pontiff, speaking to reporters as he flew back to Rome from a visit to Mexico, categorically ruled out abortion as a response to Zika, comparing the practice to a Mafia killing.

    The health crisis has put pressure on Church teachings, particularly in Latin America, where abortion is now being debated more openly even in some conservative countries.

Many scientists believe Zika, a mosquito-borne disease that is currently sweeping through the Americas, may be a risk factor for microcephaly in newborns - a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.

    In the freewheeling, post-trip news conference that has become a trademark of his papacy, the pope was asked if using contraception would fall into the category of the lesser of two evils and how he felt about some authorities advising pregnant women with Zika to have abortions.

    He categorically ruled out that abortion would ever be permitted for pregnant women with Zika who fear that they may give birth to a child with microcephaley.

    "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, speaking passionately against the practice. "It is a crime. It is an absolute evil."

    The 1.2 billion-member Church teaches that abortion is a crime because life begins at the moment of conception. The Church teaches that contraception is wrong because nothing should block the possible transmission of life.

    But Francis mentioned in his response that one of his predecessors, Pope Paul VI, had issued an exceptional dispensation allowing nuns in Africa to use the birth control pill because they risked being raped during a conflict there.

    He said Paul, who reigned from 1963 to 1978, had responded to "a difficult situation in Africa", suggesting that a papal precedent existed.

    Francis did not say exactly when his predecessor made the exception, but it was believed to be in the 1960s in what was then the Belgian Congo. Little is known of the episode, which was not publicised at the time.

    Francis said that unlike abortion, "avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil" and added that "in certain cases", such as the precedent set by Paul VI regarding the nuns in Africa, using contraception might be the "lesser evil".

    He did not elaborate.

    Paul VI confirmed the Roman Catholic ban on artificial birth control in his major 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae" (On Human Life), which ran into strong opposition in some parts of the Church.

    In his comments on Zika, Francis also urged the medical and scientific communities to do every possible to find out more about the disease.

    "I would also like to exhort doctors to do everything to find vaccines against the mosquitoes that bear this illness. We have to work on that," he said.

(Editing by Crispian Balmer and Tom Heneghan)
Part of me is thinking WTH?  And part of me is considering the source; yahoo's not know for honest reporting on anything Catholic.
(02-18-2016, 01:36 PM)Sir Charles Napier Wrote: [ -> ]Part of me is thinking WTH?  And part of me is considering the source; yahoo's not know for honest reporting on anything Catholic.

Similar stories are popping up all over it seems.  Seems to be a legit story. 

I think non-abortive contraception can be justified in rape cases because in that case one is repelling or holding oneself back from an unjust aggressor.  I believe that is how the US bishops and those of other countries justify allowing it for rape victims at Catholic hospitals.

The principle doesn't sound like it would apply in Zika cases, but the Zika virus does seem like an adequate justification for periodic abstinence. 

A couple other points.  Calling something a lesser evil is not the same as calling something good or not a sin.  The analysis usually comes in when determining when something evil can be tolerated to avoid a greater evil or advance a greater good.  But that's toleration, not positively willing something evil.

Finally, Pope Francis does not give a definitive answer here, but merely says something that may be possible, presumably pending further analysis.  In general, it's not bad for someone to not know the right answer and not come to a definitive conclusion right then and there.  Likewise, being the Pope does not mean you have all the right answers off the top of your head.  The problem is, part of the Pope's job is to ultimately give the final, right answer, so that's what people expect all the time.  And this is the most common criticism of Francis: when he doesn't have the answer, he essentially thinks out loud about what the answer might be, rather than just saying, "I don't have the answer off the top of my head, let me look into it so we can take any means that the faith allows" or something like that.
Be wary not to fall into consequentialist ethics in this discussion. The virtuous move would be to refrain from sexual relations until this issue is solved. Saying that contraception is okay because of this virus is basically saying you can engage in sexual license. If the point of sexual relations is procreation, then this non of this makes any sense.
It seems to me there's a huge difference between a celibate nun taking a pill that could prevent her from becoming pregnant if she is raped, and a married woman taking contraception to continue to have sex during a Zika outbreak. Now, if celibate nuns in affected areas want to take contraception so that if they happen to get raped they don't have a baby with birth defects, I could see the rationale there.  But this is very different from women taking contraception in order to continue to hand consensual sex.
(02-18-2016, 01:57 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: [ -> ]Finally, Pope Francis does not give a definitive answer here, but merely says something that may be possible, presumably pending further analysis.  In general, it's not bad for someone to not know the right answer and not come to a definitive conclusion right then and there.  Likewise, being the Pope does not mean you have all the right answers off the top of your head.  The problem is, part of the Pope's job is to ultimately give the final, right answer, so that's what people expect all the time.  And this is the most common criticism of Francis: when he doesn't have the answer, he essentially thinks out loud about what the answer might be, rather than just saying, "I don't have the answer off the top of my head, let me look into it so we can take any means that the faith allows" or something like that.

I'm not the pope, yet I know the right answer without having to think about it. And if I were asked, I could provide on the spot a succinct explanation of the Church's teaching on this point.

Edit - And Optatus Cleary has the right answer with the post above. I'm guessing Optatus is also not the pope, yet was able to give a succinct and correct response.
(02-18-2016, 03:09 PM)ermy_law Wrote: [ -> ]
(02-18-2016, 01:57 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: [ -> ]Finally, Pope Francis does not give a definitive answer here, but merely says something that may be possible, presumably pending further analysis.  In general, it's not bad for someone to not know the right answer and not come to a definitive conclusion right then and there.  Likewise, being the Pope does not mean you have all the right answers off the top of your head.  The problem is, part of the Pope's job is to ultimately give the final, right answer, so that's what people expect all the time.  And this is the most common criticism of Francis: when he doesn't have the answer, he essentially thinks out loud about what the answer might be, rather than just saying, "I don't have the answer off the top of my head, let me look into it so we can take any means that the faith allows" or something like that.

I'm not the pope, yet I know the right answer without having to think about it. And if I were asked, I could provide on the spot a succinct explanation of the Church's teaching on this point.

Edit - And Optatus Cleary has the right answer with the post above. I'm guessing Optatus is also not the pope, yet was able to give a succinct and correct response.

I believe I could too. And I am willing to bet we are more knowledgeable and can articulate and explain the faith better than some other bishops too and many priests and even various past Popes (take Benedict IX as an extreme example). As St. Francis de Sales said, "Thus we say that we must appeal to him not as to a learned man, for in this he is ordinarily surpassed by others."  In my experience, Catholics who participate in serious internet discussions on the faith usually have a better handle on things than much of the clergy.  It is what it is. 

I don't know, the priests I know who came through the seminaries of that era even getting very advanced degrees (and I can only guess what the Argentinian and Chilean Jesuits were doing) are often very ignorant of the principles underlying certain doctrines and aren't trained in the kind of scholastic reasoning that leads to fine distinction making. They haven't even heard of most of the encyclicals or writings of the Saints or other sources we have read.  They are not savvy about and don't have time to delve into the modern tools of information and only have the remnants of what they were taught.  In this case, he has one point of information (a predecessor permitted it for a hard case) and therefore concludes it might be possible now in this hard case.

I don't know, maybe I am naiive, but this Pope reminds me so much of so many other priests around his age.  I have found most are well-meaning, but are sadly products of their time.  I try and have some compassion on them and not presume malicious ignorance. 
(02-18-2016, 03:07 PM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: [ -> ]It seems to me there's a huge difference between a celibate nun taking a pill that could prevent her from becoming pregnant if she is raped, and a married woman taking contraception to continue to have sex during a Zika outbreak. Now, if celibate nuns in affected areas want to take contraception so that if they happen to get raped they don't have a baby with birth defects, I could see the rationale there.  But this is very different from women taking contraception in order to continue to hand consensual sex.

What?

I'll just say that RCC has elected a [expletive] pope.
(02-18-2016, 03:07 PM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: [ -> ]It seems to me there's a huge difference between a celibate nun taking a pill that could prevent her from becoming pregnant if she is raped, and a married woman taking contraception to continue to have sex during a Zika outbreak. Now, if celibate nuns in affected areas want to take contraception so that if they happen to get raped they don't have a baby with birth defects, I could see the rationale there.  But this is very different from women taking contraception in order to continue to hand consensual sex.

Apparently the application of logic eludes most people, including our beloved Pontiff.

You know the saying, "More Catholic than the Pope"? I'm always aware of it when critiquing stuff like this, but seriously...

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