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When Pope Francis told the people of Brazil that the use of contraception was permitted, given the state of emergency of the Zika virus, it was an unexpectedly progressive statement [“Pope suggests contraception can be condoned in Zika crisis,” Nation & World, Feb. 18].

This was a courageous step for Pope Francis in potentially changing church policy. Given his powerful position in the church, preventing the suffering of children in families affected by the Zika virus was his most ethical option, even though it went against church teachings.

Many Catholics often ignore the policies of the Catholic Church that are incompatible with modern life, and Pope Francis will hopefully help adjust those policies to more realistic standards.

Finn Owsley, Kenmore