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Zika tests Catholic position on birth control

23 Dec 2015, Brazil --- In this Dec. 23, 2015 photo, Dejailson Arruda holds his daughter Luiza at their house in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Luiza was born in October with a rare condition, known as microcephaly. Luiza's mother Angelica Pereira was infected with the Zika virus after a mosquito bite. Brazilian health authorities are convinced that Luiza's condition is related to the Zika virus that infected her mother during pregnancy. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) --- Image by © Felipe Dana/AP/Corbis
23 Dec 2015, Brazil — In this Dec. 23, 2015 photo, Dejailson Arruda holds his daughter Luiza at their house in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Luiza was born in October with a rare condition, known as microcephaly. Luiza’s mother Angelica Pereira was infected with the Zika virus after a mosquito bite. Brazilian health authorities are convinced that Luiza’s condition is related to the Zika virus that infected her mother during pregnancy. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) — Image by © Felipe Dana/AP/Corbis

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.

“It’s going to present a lot of problems for the bishops to sort out,” echoed Daniel Ramirez, an assistant professor of history and American culture at the University of Michigan and an expert on Latin American religious culture.

“They’re going to have to really thread a fine theological needle here,” he added.

Read more at CNN.com…

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