Pope Francis is not afraid to talk about politics, the greenhouse effect, war and any other topic that is making headline news around the world. So it was no surprise that the Pope gave his opinion on how to stop the outbreak of the Zika virus. More than 27 countries have reported an outbreak of virus, which up until now, was a non-threatening virus that caused minor symptoms in infected individuals.
But when the condition known as microcephaly was connected to the Zika virus, the world was threatened in its most vulnerable spot. Microcephaly causes brain damage in babies and shortens lifespans. The news of that connections put pregnant women around the word on notice. A mosquito bite could cause a birth defect. But researchers also discovered that it wasn’t just mosquitos that could transmit the disease. Sexual contact could also be a virus transmission method since the virus stays in the semen, urine and saliva of infected individuals.
The Catholic Church has always taken the position that condones are not allowed, but Pope Francis turned Catholic heads recently when he said condones should be used to control the spread of the Zika virus. That’s not the first time that a pope said condones were okay for birth control, however. Pope Paul VI issued a special dispensation that allowed nuns to use birth control in the 1960s during a uprising in the African Congo. Nuns were being raped by rebels at that time.
But Pope Francis opened the door for Catholics to use birth control, according to Dr. Sergio Cortes’ sergiocortesofficial blog, the Ministry of Health’s top medical expert. Dr. Cortes posts the latest information about the Zika virus outbreak on his website. Dr. Cortes thinks, and others agree, that the pope was saying avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil in the eyes of the church. That is welcomed news for the millions of Catholics in Brazil and millions more in North and South America.
The real issue concerning the Zika virus is not a religious one, according to Dr. Sergio Cortes. The real issue is finding how the Zika virus works once it enters the human body. There have been a couple of sexually transmitted cases of the virus, but there is still no scientific proof that the virus outbreak is due to sexual contact. Dr. Cortes has information about virus transmission on his LinkedIn page. He also tweets Zika virus information. There are a lot of comments about the Zika virus on his Facebook page as well.