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Published On: Fri, Feb 19th, 2016

Pope Francis on contraceptives and the Zika virus, says abortion is a crime, ‘absolute evil’

During a press conference aboard his flight following his recent trip to Mexico, Pope Francis was asked by reporters about the church’s teaching on abortion, contraceptives and how prevention may actually be “the lesser of two evils” in combating the Zika virus.

“Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime,” Francis replied. “It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil.”

photo/ donkeyhotey

photo/ donkeyhotey

“Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion,” Francis continued. “Abortion is not a theological problem. It is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no?”

Some officials have called for abortion and contraceptives to be employed in the fight against the Zika virus, which can lead to birth defects in infants. Catholic leaders are maintaining opposition to both.

Francis expanded on the evil of abortion.

“It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned,” he said.

 

“Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape,” Francis said, adding, “In certain cases, as in this one, such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear.”

According to the Washington Post, during the 1960s, Pope Paul VI granted a dispensation to an order of nuns living in the Belgian Congo who were “being systematically raped” to use contraceptives.

In response to Zika, Francis added, “I would also urge doctors to do everything they can to develop a vaccine.”

A portrait of Pope Francis taken in Vatican City on August 5, 2014.   Photo credit: Daniele Cataldi/Demotix/Corbis courtesy of Weta.org

A portrait of Pope Francis taken in Vatican City on August 5, 2014. Photo credit: Daniele Cataldi/Demotix/Corbis courtesy of Weta.org

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