Phil Lawler also discusses the pope's confusing language.
At this point I'm not surprised by anything this pope says or does, but the idea that Pope Paul VI giving nuns in danger of being raped permission to use contraceptives (probably barrier methods) is totally different than giving permission for contraception for Zika. Those nuns were not sexually active and trying to prevent pregnancy. They were using contraceptives like a police officer uses a bullet proof vest to protect himself from a shooter's bullet.
It's a completely different scenario from couples using contraception to prevent pregnancy -- for whatever reason. Once you justify it for Zika, you've basically justified it for any health reason and why stop there? The woman who wants to continue her education without the complication of a pregnancy or the woman who thinks she has too many children already - she will argue her serious circumstances justify contraception too. And what does it say about the handicapped babies who are born. Will their moms be villified for not acting "responsibly?"
Contraception is a grievous moral evil. In many ways it's even more evil in intention than abortion is. Abortion kills a baby who is created and will live for all eternity. It's murder. Contraception basically tells God, "Screw your creation, I don't want it and will do everything in my power to make sure that baby you planned doesn't interfere with my life." And so the contracepting couple doesn't allow the baby to come into existence at all. That couple makes themselves gods. Imagine the horror on Judgment Day when God tells them that the children He desired to give them AS GIFTS were never created because of their refusal to cooperate with His will.
Are there difficult situations and serious reasons for women to avoid pregnancy? Yes. Is there a morally licit way for women to avoid pregnancy during those serious situations? Yes, Natural Family Planning. As a teacher for over twenty years, I can testify to the fact that NFP is effective, both at planning pregnancies and postponing them. When couples are well taught and follow the rules, NFP is more effective than most artificial birth control methods at avoiding pregnancy. And it doesn't attack the good of God's gift which contraception does. The couple simply chooses not to "know" each other as Scripture used to so delicately put it, during the fertile time. They choose a holy silence until the serious reason for avoiding pregnancy has passed. The difference is between a silence due to not speaking versus a silence created by stuffing your mouth with cotton balls or cutting out your tongue.
NFP is part of the good news of the Church. Contraception is a killer since many so-called contraceptives actually cause abortion (all the chemicals do at least part of the time, as do the IUDs). And contraception is the root cause of abortion. Pope Francis has once again betrayed Our Lord.
Pray for him.