Pope reaffirms Church opposition to contraception

VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI on Friday reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to contraception on the 40th anniversary of a papal encyclical on the controversial topic.

Contraception “means negating the intimate truth of conjugal love, with which the divine gift [of life] is communicated,” the pope wrote in a message published by the Vatican.

The rhythm method is an acceptable form of contraception for couples in “dire circumstances” who need to space their children, the leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics wrote to participants in a seminar on the 1968 encyclical by Pope Paul VI.

The landmark document, whose title in English is “On the Regulation of Birth,” was published at a time when the development of the Pill was giving new sexual freedom to women across the world.

Millions of Catholics distanced themselves from Rome as a result, while the clergy were divided on how to deal with such a document, covered as it was by the doctrine of papal infallibility.

In July, some 60 Catholic groups from Europe to the Americas called on Benedict to reverse the position.
— AFP (ManilaTimes)

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