The Zika virus which hit Colombia the worst has threatened the very basis of Catholic faith.
The Catholic church is always pro-life 100%, but Pope Francis, leader of the faith, shocked a lot of Catholics, Thursday, when he welcomed the option of permitting birth control to aid in the prevention of pregnancy in areas affected by the Zika vrus.
While flying back to the Vatican after his visit to Mexico, the pope explained in a press conference:
“Avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases … it was clear.”
While those who argued against his decision gave their reasons, the Pope made reference to the case of Pope Paul VI who permitted nuns in Africa to “use contraceptives in cases of rape”.
The Pope’s veering from the church’s absolute rejection of birth control will cause a lot of controversy during the proceeding days.
Colombia is an active Catholic-country, as well as being the second-worst country in the World suffering from the Zika virus. The Pope’s words in the country comes with lots of consequences.
Archbishop of Tunja, Monsignor Luis Augusto Castro said in a press conference, Friday,
“These are decisions for each woman to make, but we don’t believe that the solution is so simple.
We must kill Zika, not children.”
Still, while the Pope’s words might upset some individuals or countries against birth-control, Colombia is an active-contraceptive user though over eighty percent of its population are Catholics.
A recent national study states that:
Birth control use among Colombian women between the ages of 15 and 49 varies between 56 and 61 percent depending on the region.
But women in relationships or who are sexually active are much more likely to use contraception, with rates of roughly 80 percent.
Director of the master’s program in sexual and reproductive health at the Universidad El Bosque, Elsa Marino clarified:
The promotion of family planning and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections are priorities for the health sector.
Although the church continues to have influence, the use of traditional methods (coitus interruptus, abstinence and others) has decreased while more modern methods have become more popular. Not all parts of the country are equal, however.
In the Vaupés department, for example, only 47 percent of couples use contraception. But Zika has pushed the government to be even more proactive.
The Colombian government has established the necessity of condom use in sexual relations as a way to prevent transmission of the virus and to prevent pregnancy.
It remains to be seen if the Pope’s new shift in thinking will seep into the general Catholic teachings and they will embrace birth control.
The Vatican’s age-old decision of “No birth-control” has been altered by Zika virus.
His pronouncement to accept birth control was made regarding the Zika outbreak for the country of Colombia, so far. Though their are other Catholic-countries in South-America also plagued by the disease.
It is left to be known if other Countries with the Catholic faith will follow soon.
The Catholic church does not even induce labor to facilitate miscarriage. As long as their is a fetal heartbeat, no Catholic doctor is allowed to abort or control a child’s existence despite it being a risk to the mother’s life.
Ordinarily, staunch Catholics will never accept birth-control but with the Pope of the Vatican, the most revered man in the Catholic faith giving birth control his ‘Okay’, some will not be as staunch as they used to be.
Hit the comment section if you support or oppose the Pope’s new shift in perspective.