Catholicism and the Zika Virus

In his encyclical, Humanae Vitae (1968), Pope Paul VI forbade the use of any form of artificial birthZika control. Consequently, any Catholic who uses birth control commits a grave “mortal” sin. Conservative Catholics consider the encyclical to be an infallible declaration. The only method of birth control the Catholic church does allow is the unreliable rhythm method aka “natural family planning.”

The encyclical has been extremely controversial since the day it was published. Most U.S. Catholics ignore it. They rightfully question why artificial birth control is allegedly sinful but the rhythm method is not when both have the same aim. Research has found that 82% of Catholics believe artificial birth control is morally acceptable and 98% of Catholic women of child-bearing age have used contraceptives. The church’s ban on condoms, even if a married partner has a transmittable illness such as AIDS, is seen by those, both inside and outside the church, as incredibly inane. The laity’s militant disagreement with the hierarchy on this issue has understandably led to questions, disagreements, and loss of faith on other church teachings.

The church now faces another serious challenge to its birth control policy. With the startling spread of the Zika virus, South American health officials are advising women to avoid pregnancy until the crisis is resolved or controlled. Yet, the Vatican remains silent. Why? Because the church’s position on artificial birth control is completely untenable in the face of such a crisis. But the hierarchy can’t easily do an about face without compromising its claim to papal infallibility. Pope Francis is hailed as the “pope of mercy” but he’s unwilling to provide a merciful, reasonable, and humane path forward for the 425 million Catholics in South America.

Surely God in His Word forbids murder. Abortion and abortifacients are murder. But there is nothing in the Bible that forbids non-abortive forms of birth control.

Praise the Lord for freeing me from the chains of Catholic legalism and man-made rules and traditions. Salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone! Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and come out of false churches.


Zika tests Catholic position on birth control


“Cafeteria Catholic,” Chris Christie, defies church’s birth control ban (just like most Catholics)

New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate, Chris Christie, a Roman Catholic, created a bit of controversy recently when he revealed he is personally opposed to his church’s gov-christie-attends-memorial-prayer-service-for-victims-of-charleston-sc-mass-shooting-a1dbcc9b15c316afban on the use of contraceptives by married couples.

Let’s get a little background. In 1968 pope Paul VI issued his controversial Humanae Vitae encyclical banning all forms of artificial birth control. Catholic sources have stated this ruling is infallible and irreversible. Although the church is strikingly vague in its distinction between “mortal” and “venial” sins, mainline Catholic sources state that the use of artificial birth control is definitely a “mortal” sin.

“The Church also has affirmed that the illicitness of contraception is an infallible doctrine: “The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable. Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity, it is contrary to the good of the transmission of life (the procreative aspect of matrimony), and to the reciprocal self-giving of the spouses (the unitive.aspect of matrimony); it harms true love and denies the sovereign role of God in the transmission of human life” (Vademecum for Confessors 2:4, Feb. 12, 1997).

“Ignoring the mountain of evidence, some maintain that the Church considers the use of contraception a matter for each married couple to decide according to their “individual conscience.” Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. The Church has always maintained the historic Christian teaching that deliberate acts of contraception are always gravely sinful, which means that it is mortally sinful if done with full knowledge and deliberate consent (CCC 1857). This teaching cannot be changed and has been taught by the Church infallibly.”

The vast majority of “Christians” believe that human life begins at conception (Psalm 139:13,16)…

…but is the prevention of conception via birth control a sin as the Catholic church dictates? While Scripture doesn’t specifically address the question of artificial birth control, a fairly recent development, most Christians agree it would be sinful for a couple to use any form of birth control that ends life (abortion or abortifacient). The Catholic magisterium cites Genesis 38:8-10 as Scriptural support against birth control where Onan “spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother.” In proper context Onan’s sin wasn’t precisely the spilling of his semen on the ground, it was sidestepping his brotherly responsibilities. In a 2012 CNN poll, 86% of those who identified themselves as Evangelical, born-again Christians disagreed with the statement, “Using artificial means of birth control is wrong.”

Humanae Vitae was a disaster for the Catholic church. More than a few Catholics wondered why the church prohibited contraceptives but lent its imprimatur to the rhythm method/natural family planning. Weren’t the results the same? Many cash-strapped Catholic families wondered how a bunch of old celibate priests could dictate family planning? The encyclical opened up a Pandora’s Box. Incredulous Catholics began to question and doubt other obligatory church teachings. A recent survey reveals that a whopping 79% of Roman Catholics take Christie’s side in this contraception debate. But as some Catholics are aware, the church hierarchy is hardly uniform in its opinion on birth control. Many liberal Catholic bishops and priests quietly approve of the use of contraceptives by married couples.

But God has Good News for all the “cafeteria” Catholics who have lost confidence in their church. One’s faith should be in Jesus Christ, the Savior, the Rock, who never changes and will never lead anyone astray, NOT in a church or religion. Praise the Lord for salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE.

“For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” – 1 Peter 2:6.