... Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good," it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general...
From the Encyclical Letter
Of the Supreme Pontiff Pope Paul VI
ON THE REGULATION OF BIRTH
And now, from the Wall Street Journal:
By FRANCIS X. ROCCA
Updated Feb. 18, 2016 12:07 p.m. ET
ROME— Pope Francis said the use of contraception could be justified in regions hit by the Zika virus, a stance that could reignite a debate over the church’s prohibition of the use of condoms to stop the spread of the AIDS virus.
The pope’s comments on the use of contraception in Zika-afflicted areas comes amid proposals that women in regions hit by the virus—largely in Latin America—use abortion or avoid getting pregnant to prevent the birth of children with microcephaly.
Bishops in Latin America have said the Zika virus doesn’t justify the use of abortion or contraception.
However, responding to a question, the pope distinguished between abortion, which he said was never acceptable, and contraception, which he said could be justified as the lesser evil in certain circumstances.
The question is one of one pope saying that the “lesser evil” of contraception is “never lawful”, while another permitting the “lesser evil” of contraception “to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general.”