Pope Francis' contraception comments need clarification

18 February 2016

Catholic campaigners for family values are disturbed by unconfirmed reports of comments said to have been made by Pope Francis on contraception.

Catholic News Service (CNS), the news-agency of the US bishops, claims the Pope told journalists on a return flight to Rome from Mexico that contraception may be “the lesser of two evils” for parents wanting to avoid conceiving a child disabled by the Zika virus. The pontiff is said to have used the example of the Belgian Congo in the 1960s, when it is claimed that Pope Paul VI had advised nuns that they could use contraception to avoid pregnancy after rape. (see Notes for Editors 1 in link below).

Maria Madise, manager of Voice of the Family an international coalition of Catholic pro-life/pro-family groups, said: “The Vatican has yet to confirm Pope Francis’s comments, but whatever the meaning of those comments, the Church’s teaching has not changed and cannot change. Catholic teaching remains that contraception is wrong in all circumstances.”

“Whatever Pope Paul VI is alleged to have said regarding nuns in the Belgian Congo, in Humanae Vitae he repeated clearly the Church’s constant teaching that the separation of the procreative and the unitive aspects of the conjugal act is always wrong.” (2)

“We have great sympathy for parents who may conceive a disabled child, but contraception is neither an ethical nor effective answer to the dangers of the Zika virus.” (3) Miss Madise added: “It should also be pointed out that hormonal forms of contraception can cause early abortions.”

A note to editors and contact information for Voice of the Family accompany the full article here.