Source : The New York Times
As the Zika virus spreads in Latin America, Catholic leaders are warning women against using contraceptives or having abortions, even as health officials in some countries are advising women not to get pregnant because of the risk of birth defects.
The challenge posed by Zika for the Roman Catholic Church comes as Pope Francis is making his first trip to Mexico, where the virus appears to be spreading.
After a period of saying little, bishops in Latin America are beginning to speak up and reassert the church’s opposition to birth control and abortion— positions that in Latin America are unpopular and often disregarded, even among Catholics.
“Contraceptives are not a solution,” said Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, the secretary general of the National Council of Bishops of Brazil, and an auxiliary bishop of Brasília, in an interview. “There is not a single change in the church’s position.”
This is not a stance likely to win many new followers. South America happens to be the continent with the highest proportion of Catholics who already disagree with the church on abortion and birth control, according to a large international poll commissioned by Univision in 2014. Seventy-three percent of Catholics in Latin America said that abortion should be allowed in some or all cases, and 91 percent supported the use of contraceptives — a higher percentage even than in Europe or the United States.
While church leaders frequently say that doctrine is not determined by polls or popularity contests, they are nevertheless sensitive to counts of their flock. And the Catholic Church has been losing adherents in Latin America in recent decades as people leave to join evangelical and Pentecostal churches, or reject religion entirely.
Categories: Americas, Catholics, Disease, Latin America, Pope Francis, The Muslim Times
Once again the Catholic Church has its head in the sand. There is no compassion or wisdom in having a congregation full of single moms with many children, people with debilitating diseases, and economically depressed families, when all can be prevented or at least minimized with safe and inexpensive birth control.
I understand the reasoning of the church more people, more POWER. Friends this is not about power, it’s about quality of life and freedom to choose. People have rights ideas do not. When will religion learn that it is only an idea?