Catholics and other people of goodwill have had numerous occasions to be confused by the statements of Pope Francis on various moral issues. Too often, however, they have relied on the media filter and not the pontiff’s actual statements.

Asked by journalists about the Zika virus and fetal deformities, Pope Francis is said to have given his okay to contraception to avoid pregnancy during the virus crisis. But he did no such thing. Pope Francis said abortion was “an absolute evil” and that in comparison contraception is the lesser evil. But he did not say it was permissible nor state it could be used to stem the effects of Zika. He was, in fact, clear, advising not to “confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion.” One can find contraception objectionable, even a sin, but not consider it on par with prenatal infanticide. That said, the pro-life movement believes the contraceptive mentality frequently leads to abortion.

This seems obvious. What is not obvious is why the media spun the Pope’s comments as being pro-contraception? Or why people generally distrustful of the media, were quick to accept journalistic reports about Francis as the gospel truth?