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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Updated: The Catholic church and Zika

I'm posting all this because I find it pretty awful that the church is willing to allow so much suffering, all to defend what has been both a failed teaching (almost every Catholic who can access contraception does so) and a fraught teaching (everyone from bishops conferences around the world to hundreds of theologians to Paul VI's own pontifical council have contested the teaching). Here below is what I've come across so far on the subject of the church and Zika.

February 5th ...

- Vatican remains silent on contraception in Zika hit countries ... The Vatican has been asked for comment by several media organisations but has not replied.

- Brazilian Bishops Reject Abortion as Response to Zika Virus ... In a Feb.4 statement, the conference made clear that reports of a causal link between the mosquito-borne Zika virus outbreak in Brazil and a surge in cases of microcephaly, a type of birth defect with potentially serious consequences for the child, did not justify a stepped-up campaign to loosen legal restrictions to abortion.

- Honduran Cardinal Warns Against Aborting Zika Fetuses ... Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, a top adviser to Pope Francis, has denounced the idea of “therapeutic abortions” — which are carried out because of fetal abnormalities — as a response to birth defects caused by the mosquito-borne Zika virus that is setting off alarms throughout Latin America.

February 4th ...

- Concern grows over Catholic church's silence over Zika virus crisis ... Robert Kennedy, chair of the department of Catholic studies at the University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota, said the church was unlikely to ease its stance in light of the crisis. “I think the church will take what steps it can to offer support – material, spiritual and personal – to families affected by the problem, but I see no circumstances in which the church will repudiate its teaching about artificial contraception .... The Vatican did not respond to a request for comment.”

- Surge of Zika Virus Has Brazilians Re-examining Strict Abortion Laws ... Religious leaders are vowing to resist any effort to ease Brazil’s abortion laws because of Zika. “Nothing justifies an abortion,” the Rev. Luciano Brito, a spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife, told reporters. “Just because a fetus has microcephaly won’t make us favorable” to changing the law.


***

- Zika tests Catholic position on birth control

Zika-infected mosquitoes aren't just causing medical problems, they're creating a theological conundrum for the Roman Catholic Church, according to priests and other experts. The church has long forbidden nearly every form of birth control, but health officials in some Latin American countries have advised women not to get pregnant, because the virus has been linked to an incurable and often devastating neurological birth defect. "I've never seen this advice before, and when you hear it, you think, 'What are the bishops going to do?'" said the Rev. John Paris, a bioethicist and Catholic priest at Boston College ....

More ...

- Church Doctrine Complicates Situation For Pregnant Women In Zika-Affected Areas

-  Zika Is Circling Cuba. What Will Happen When It Lands?

- The Zika outbreak presents the Church with a major dilemma

4 Comments:

Blogger Deacon Denny said...

One of those links talked about the "intrinsic evil" of birth control. This is hardly the end of a discussion. There are other things that are intrinsically evil too -- what about knowingly taking a strong chance of severely and permanently damaging the brain of your young child? Faced with that, a woman may make a completely understandable temporary use of birth control as an "intrinsic evil" which seems to have some beneficial effects.

9:07 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Denny. Most people have already decided birth control isn't evil, but it's the governments in Latin America, those still so controlled by the church, who will not allow people access to cheap and effective contraception. The Pope or the bishops need to speak up about this if anything is going to change there, but I doubt that they will.

10:12 PM  
Blogger William D. Lindsey said...

Thank you, crystal — a very helpful set of links!

3:14 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi William :)

10:08 PM  

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