Browse Our Articles & Podcasts

Did the Pope Just Permit Contraceptive Use?


Pope_Francis_at_VargihnaShort answer: yes.

Read this for yourself (with my emphasis):

Paloma García Ovejero, Cadena COPE (Spain): Holy Father, for several weeks there’s been a lot of concern in many Latin American countries but also in Europe regarding the Zika virus. The greatest risk would be for pregnant women. There is anguish. Some authorities have proposed abortion, or else to avoiding pregnancy. As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the Church take into consideration the concept of “the lesser of two evils?”

Pope Francis: Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil. On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.

Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no? It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned.

On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also urge doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these two mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.

The language, as always, is slippery. So why do I think he just permitted contraceptive use?

Because context matters.

The question he was asked took abortion off the table in order to make contraception look better by contrast – the proverbial “lesser of two evils.”

Pope Francis talks about “avoiding pregnancy,” which sounds like NFP talk, until he goes on to say, “Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.”

Now, there are any number of Catholic researchers out there trying to track down the truth of this anecdote as we speak. My friends Hilary White and Oakes Spalding (of Mahound’s Paradise) believe this to be nothing more than a myth, invented to promote the idea that Bosnian women who fell victim to the war crime of rape could use the morning-after pill, as argued in this 1993 article by Jesuit Father Giacomo Perico (abstract in Italian, with link to protected PDF fulltext). Hilary also notes that Fr. Perico was trying to wring serious nuance out of Humanae Vitae as far back as 1969, which the Vatican did not oblige him on.

But even if what Pope Francis said was true — the moral implications of such an allowance set aside for a moment — this situation is different.

Zika fears have nothing to do with rape, or even with the transmission of the virus. They have to do with concerns about birth defects arising in a pregnancy resulting from consensual sex. And the science so far is sketchy on the connection between the virus and the defects, but again, let’s assume that this is true. Let’s assume that infected persons can transmit effects of the virus to an unborn child, causing microcephaly.

Why do they have to have sex?

Why can’t they abstain?

If any Catholic decides they need to “avoid pregnancy,” abstinence during fertile times is the only moral solution. What would make this situation different?

And even if they have a child with these defects, the child lives. They’re human beings. They still have value and dignity as a person.

But you’re still probably wondering, “Yeah, but ‘avoiding pregnancy’ to me still means, ‘NFP.'” I was thinking the same thing. Until I looked at it again. And again. So here’s the second part of what he said, again:

[A]voiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear.

There is simply no way to separate the words he uttered from the context he uttered them in. He mentions this mythical case of “Blessed Paul VI” giving a dispensation for contraception in the same breath as he says, “avoiding pregnancy.” To him, these are equivalent. This is what his syntax is telling us.

Papal apologists are going to parse these words for their life. They’re going to say, “The pope said ‘avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil.’ That’s correct. It isn’t.” They’re going to focus on his comments calling abortion a “crime,” which will serve as a distraction, since it’s the strongest statement he’s ever made on that issue. In fact, it’s so strong, it easily distracts from the more subtle bombshell he drops in the same answer.

But a bombshell it is. He is clearly, undeniably equating “avoiding pregnancy” with Pope Paul VI allegedly allowing nuns to use contraceptives. And considering the impracticality of trying to use a barrier method when a man willing to rape a nun is in mid-assault, we can assume that he’s thinking of hormonal contraceptives – which makes the situation even worse, since they are most likely abortifacient at least some of the time.

This is not okay. This is wrong. And people — people who are paid to answer questions about the Catholic faith and to educate you in what the Church teaches — are most likely going to tell you that this is fine.

And if they do that, they’re lying to you.

I cannot overstate how big this one is. If he doesn’t issue a clarification — which is going to require quite a lot of explaining — the upshot of this is that a sitting pope just contradicted the authoritative Church teaching on contraception. He just chucked Humanae Vitae and Casti Connubii and…well, all of it. The slope he just made is so slippery, I can’t even imagine how many Catholics will lose their footing…and there’s nothing but perdition at the bottom.

And at this point, I don’t even know what else to say.

UPDATE: The Vatican press office has confirmed

that the Holy Father was indeed speaking of “condoms and contraceptives” when on the flight back from Mexico, Pope Francis said couples could rightly “avoid pregnancy” in the wake of the Zika virus scare.

Fr. Lombardi told Vatican Radio today, “The contraceptive or condom, in particular cases of emergency or gravity, could be the object of discernment in a serious case of conscience. This is what the Pope said.”

According to Lombardi, the pope spoke of “the possibility of taking recourse to contraception or condoms in cases of emergency or special situations. He is not saying that this possibility is accepted without discernment, indeed, he said clearly that it can be considered in cases of special urgency.”

Lombardi reiterated the example that Pope Francis made of Pope Paul VI’s supposed “authorization of the use of the pill for the religious who were at very serious risk” of rape.  This, said Lombardi, “makes us understand that it is not that it was a normal situation in which this was taken into account.”

Correction: the link originally provided to substantiate the claim that hormonal contraception can act as an abortifacient went to a story about Plan-B One Step “emergency” contraception; we have updated the link to a resource that provides some information about the abortifacient properties of the standard birth control pill, as well as information on other contraceptive methods.

297 thoughts on “Did the Pope Just Permit Contraceptive Use?”

  1. Yes. So people with dwarfism should take contraceptives? Women over 40 should take contraceptives (there is a greater chance of birth defects)? I spent a few hours trying to trace that Belgian Congo claim, but the devastating implications of the Pope’s words only hit me now. This is very bad.

  2. Yes. As soon as I read the actual interview transcript and saw his words for myself, I knew this was it. He has actually done it. He contradicted previous magisterial teaching.
    Furthermore, this is at least the second time that, in the context of addressing questions about contraception, he has claimed that the 5th and 6th commandments are in conflict. The Ten Commandments were given to us by Almighty God. How dare the pope claim that any of the commandments could be in conflict with each other?! In my opinion, this is the most damning thing that he has said, and he has now done so twice in a month’s time.

  3. It’s not really even just that he’s endorsed hormonal contraceptives, he’s also done it for eugenic reasons. Welcome to the new now, boys and girls.

  4. This is disgraceful. There should be a great ‘ecumenical’ protest about the suggestion of the ‘contradiction in the Commandments’. What shocking statements. It should be enough to cause a great uprising among Christians everywhere!

    And why, if you perceive your life, or the life of your child is in danger, could you not agreeably abstain from sexual relations??! Is it so urgent to have intercourse when your world may be crashing around you?

    What a tragic appeal to the baser instincts, to promote the violation of, not only the natural law, but the 10 Commandments. I am totally ashamed of my pope.

    • Yes! this is what gets me, too! Is there some absolute right to have sex whenever you want, wherever you want, no matter what? Is the need for sex as urgent and irrefusable as the need to eat food, drink water and breathe air?

      Wendell Berry — who’s not even a Catholic — described, in his book “The Unsettling of America” (in a chapter called “The Body and the Earth”) the Hunzas, a primitive (and non-Christian, by the way) people who live in the Himalayas, where resources are very scarce. It is crucial that they space their children. So what do they do? They simply abstain from sex — for up to 2 to 3 YEARS.

      But the Hunza don’t know about Natural Family Planning. If they did, they would only need to abstain from sex for about ten days every month!!!

      That’s the other thing that really bugs me about Francis’s loathsome comments. He had a perfect opportunity to raise some consciousness and talk about Natural Family Planning — a humongous contribution of the Catholic Church to humanity at large that most people don’t even know about — and he didn’t even mention it. As if NFP didn’t even exist. How are we ever going to get the word out about NFP if the Pope himself seems to be clueless?!

      • Sorry many conservative Catholics believe nfp also goes against Catholic teachings, as it nterferes with God’s family planning! The sole purpose of sexual relations is procreation!

        • Plus XI said there were other purposes, including mutual aid, and the channeling of concupiscence. That, of course, comes straight from the Angelic Doctor and Augustine.

          • I wasn’t referring to “excuses” but the “purpose of sexual relations”. The purpose of sexual relations is for more than just procreation. The Magisterium has always and definitivesly taught that there are other purposes to include “mutual aid” and “channeling concupiscence”.

        • Bless you, Martha!

          I wouldn’t say that NFP is “overused,” but rather, WRONGLY used — that is, used with a contraceptive mentality. I’m sorry to say that my late husband and I used it that way most of the time. True NFP means honest, full, sincere prayer and discernment every single month, genuinely seeking to know if the Lord desires you to have another child at this time, and if your perceived reasons to avoid a pregnancy genuinely are gravely serious ones. Instead, my husband and I (and I suspect this is true of many other couples) used the nuts and bolts of the METHOD, but without the heart of it, which is genuine, humble openness.

          • I think the only test to find out if the Lord desires you to have another child is to “go therefore and participate in the act that causes you to multiply”. If you multiply then the answer is yes, the Lord wants you to have another child, if no child is created then the answer is obvious too.

      • NFP is grave sin (unless used to increase likelihood of fertility) under the natural law and supernatural law in that it has been found to increase the likelihood of miscarriages (spontaneous abortions) and also violates God’s admonition, from the Book of Genesis, to go forth and procreate (there is an obvious intent to avoid fertility which will most likely damage the embryo if conceived under these adverse conditions). In cases of necessity there is the long standing self control method that comes from the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer, fasting and frequent reception of the the sacraments. Before 1930 (when there was no immoral Rhythm Method for avoiding children and, before 1969, when there was no immoral NFP method for avoiding children), this self control in marriage was called Continence.

    • Unfortunately, in our society today, sexual acts have attained gargantuan importance in the lives of individuals. Our culture is horribly degraded, to the point of no return.

    • An ecumenical protest from all the pro-contraception denominations (i.e., all of them, bar the RCC)? Don’t hold your breath.

  5. I’m sorry if this is disrespectful, but he needs to learn this phrase: “Gee, I’m not sure I can answer that at this moment, please give me some time to think about it and I’ll get back to you.”

    • With respect, how about this: “The Church has always taught that contraception is intrinsically evil.” Oh, right, that would lose him La Repubblica. Never mind.

    • No man has ever been a woman that I know of, thus has no say in what/how her God fashioned her to be…we are all created differently and clueless clerics just don’t have any comprehension of that reality.

      I found this Catholic mother of 8, thoughts below, right on and worthy of sharing. In fact, they should be required reading for any pope. priest, other clergy..she is spot on with her assertions of NFP….it has been long known that many, if not most, women are not candidates for this family planning method.

      If anyone would have been the perfect candidate it would have been ‘moi’ who had perfect 28 day cycles, virtually unknown, as my ob/gyn told me decades ago. And yet, between Jan, 1963 and Feb, 1972…a total of nine years, I was pregnant seven times with two of those being miscarriages…and of the five live, only 2 were born without any problems. No misogynist clergy/pope can tell me what it is all about, for such arrogant men have not a clue, but do enjoy pontificating while punishing others.
      Like the foolish sadistic men about to stone a woman in the scriptures, Christ stood in to protect her. I have been waiting for decades for some such pope to do the same for women today, and such women need not be sinners as the woman Christ rescued. Not holding my breath on waiting for any clergy that honors women and her birth giving abilities…from my vantage point, I see that they/Vatican/PE and such ilk only want women as breeders to service their war mongering/money making. It has been long known that the Vatican has within its financial portfolios many of the stocks in birth control. Don’t you just love hypocrisy out of Rome?

      Five Ways I Don’t Love Natural Family Planning – Crisis Magazine

      • Funny, between September of 2003 and January 2015, my wife was pregnant 7 times. She has the perfect 28 day cycles, but we wrote fortunate with no miscarriages.

        We also elected not to even use NFP. And, she was evidently irresponsible and tempting God because she had seven cesarean.

        If NOT, or a modified rhythm, as the poster was likely using at that time, had that “failure rate”…. Give me some more of that!

        • Given that was within a 12 year time frame, that means she still has a good 25 years left of being fertile. Check back with me someday and tell me how that went. Lucky you if you can afford another 14 children….and God help you in your endeavors. What do you mean by ‘if NOT, or modified rhythm…failure rate…”

          • Oh please, stop writing such nonsense. You know that they will not have 14 more children.
            God knows what we need. If we still have children despite abstaining, then we are meant to have them.

          • So tell me how that works Cory…abstaining but still having children? Sounds fairly contradictory to those of us who think. I thought the blessed virgin Mary was the only one conceived by parents who abstained. Where did you get that magic insight that determines you just know that people will not have any more children. Some awesome powers God has given you there gal.
            I suggest it is you who speaks nonsense when you purport to be able to foretell who will and won’t have more kids. If it were true that God knows what we need, then why are thousands of kids abused 24/7, wives beaten, girls raped and pedophile priests? I don’t believe for a minute that God wills any of that to happen.

          • It is nonsense because even without though to spacing births by NFP very few have 14 children in the allowable time you have mentioned.
            As you pointed out, there were 7 of you. Not 14.
            I am not purporting to tell who will and will have not kids.
            I am just exposing the hysterics in your post.

          • Cory, you are correct there was only 7 of us, for after the last child was born I was forced to get a hysterectomy at age 32… FYI, that last live birth was extremely difficult. The uterus had lost alI of its elasticity, thus, I was told after # 6 to not get pregnant for my uterus also had loads of fibroid tumors.. Alas, God had other plans. Even with a perfect 28 day cycle, I still managed to get pregnant. It was an extremely difficult pregnancy. Which did in fact, leave the baby (now an adult) with lifelong problems.
            As for hysteria methinks you are the one exhibiting the very traits you manifest by feeling a need to trounce on anything I say.. why the need to vent vengeance? To your point it would have been very easy to have seven more babies as the average woman’s menopause begins around age the math Cory, having 7 preg from 1963 – 1972 (nine years) with another 18 years before menopause could easily had me giving birth at least another 7 times. are both math and facts difficult for you?

          • There is no saint that ever had a hysterectomy for contraceptive purposes. There are saints that died in order to give their unborn children life though. St. Catherine of Siena was her moms 21 st child. Thank God her mom didn’t get a hysterectomy! She saved the Church!!!

          • I never heard of any woman having a hysterectomy for reasons of birth control. She would be stupid to do so, for having one is a living hell for a couple years until you get adjusted to the lack of hormones. I would never tell any woman to get one unless there is really sound medical advice to do so. Further in the times that you mention/St Catherine, they didn’t even do that surgery!!

          • So? My mother had none of those problems and she had 10. Others with only 1 child have a hysterectomy. Still others have not even had children had fibroids and hysterectomys.
            So what is your point?

          • My point is that you are not getting the point. When you say your mother didn’t have any problems, are you saying that because she had none, that no one else does? thereby diminishing the?

            Don’t confuse my personality with my ATTITUDE.. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

          • Sigh! I never ever, ever questioned that. My point is that you come up with stupid conclusions that just because it was like this with you, it is like this for everyone else so let’s turf Church teaching.

          • So when is this ‘Old enough to know better’ supposed to kick in?
            How can one abstain but still have children as you state? BTW, are you voting for Bernie Sanders…appear to think just like him.

          • Methinks that Cory has totally lost it. IN your own words, you said that, “If we still have children despite abstaining, then we are meant to have them.” My rebuttal to that is how on earth, if one is abstaining, is it even possible to have children?” Hence, your remark made absolutely NO sense….the only one we have been taught who abstained but had a child was the BV Mother.
            Where did you ever get the idea that ordinary folks abstain and still get pregnant? That is why I wrote, ‘Should be old enough to know better”. You should know better that it is impossible to have it both ways…abstaining while getting pregnant!!
            Again, you put a twist on it, saying I accused you of saying it! I never said YOU did.Your silly statement elicited my response.

          • Sunshine: My rebuttal to that is how on earth, if one is abstaining, is it even possible to have children?”
            Me: So it seems you have not heard of NFP where you abstain on the fertile times and how so many still get pregnant despite this?

          • Not true at all..most folks rarely try it anymore, for most women have used the pill since the sixties when it first raised its ugly head on the scene. You never could have gotten me to take any pill as I knew what other dangers existed by taking them. This was the reason why we used the rhythm method..the only one allowed back then, although many Catholic friends had their parish priests tell them it was permissable to use the pill to avoid pregnancies.

          • Yeah. More women have used the pill and they still end up pregnant so they kill their own babies.
            Enough of your misinformation and hysterics.

          • In my circles it is used as a given. Very sad, as the women who do so are affluent, young, and very prideful in their complete yet ‘approved’ mastery of their bodies. I’ve had some scoff and laugh when I’ve asked them (over a year into their marriages), when they were going to be hearing the pitter patter of little feet, and the response was, ‘Ha! Maybe in 5 years!’ They’re using it for purely selfish reasons, God has no role to play.

            If one is financially sound, healthy, and and mentally competent to be newly married, one should not begin with NFP. That, my friends, is a misuse.

          • Have fun worrying about what you can afford, and focus on that. You sound like an incredibly happy person. Your happiness just drops from your comments.

          • UC: Ohmigosh, can’t any of you spell anymore? “Just DROPS from your comments”? UC…I never worried about what we could afford for the lord blessed me with many talents to make a buck stretch from here to Timbuckto…and so our family despite meager earnings never looked like it was suffering.
            Having a reputation as an awesome cook, and learning all I could about nutrition from their earliest years was a must to me., Being an artist I could easily make a house look charming and homey, meaning that we never looked poor. Our Lord tells us not to hide our lights under a bushel, thus we are to be the salt of the earth displaying the insights/talents God provides.
            My happiness In raising 5 awesome, hardworking and successful children and now grandmother to 12 grandchildren speaks to the success that comes from doing a great job of parenting…you don’t turn out five kids graduating at the top of their college classes without a solid and good foundation. ..I might add, that was done even while having another acting as an albatross not allowing me to actualize myself.
            Is there something in scripture that I missed that says a woman has no right to her own selfhood…tell me chapter/verse please. And no, I am NOT a feminist and have no use for that movement which has destroyed men and families, but no where does it say nor did Christ say a woman has no right to her god given talents…especially when she wants to better her family by using them. It is news to me that parents and a spouse are to be jealous of one’s talents and hold you down.
            How would that be you ask? Tell me this… if you’d written a children’s book and illustrated it with hopes of getting royalties tp put towards the children’s college educations and then your husband said, “Am not allowing you to do that unless you want a divorce?” How and why would you say that a man holding you down when you want to help the family should make one feel wonderful? You make no freaking sense Unam.

        • What planet do you reside on Diego? On this earth most women have these things called cycles. And it is news to me that one can practice NFP without knowing the timing of a cycle. From whence did you get your insight that cycles are not a must? Crazy talk!

          • When did I say you don’t need to understand/use/time the cycle?
            I said REGULAR cycles are not a must.
            You can use the cycle even if they last a different number of days each time.
            The corresponding changes will be present, like change in mucous viscosity/texture and amount. Electrolyte levels. Color of secretions…etc.

          • And of course, you being a male, I think, would view this as not at all nerve wracking when you have a family of eight that needs tending to 24/7. Do you really believe that God expects a woman to do this 30x a month? I surely do not. Most women are not scientists and given to checking out electrolytes, et al.

          • OK Sunshine. Let me give you a hand. =)

            The reason I asked you for the method you use in the first place was because I thought it likely that I could help you find better methods. You still have not told me what you are using but is sound like you used one of those that are not very effective and depend too much on the regularity of cycles.

            I suggest to you to use at least two different methods at the same time, based on different approaches:

            1) The billings Method. Official site and you can Google for more.
            It is free, it is 98% effective, it is great. But you need to take the time to learn it and team up with your husband to wait through the fertile times of course.

            2) Home analysis: Some examples:

            Fir two are the same, use eletrolites and only a one time cost.

            The others are based on other measurements and cost you each time you test.
            There are many with different pros/cons. Some of them are as effective as chemical contraception, even with mutant cycles 🙂 , but are moral and without the health dangers of course.

            3) A lot more.

          • How generous of you Diego to give these suggestions. Only one thing wrong…you’re about forty years too late…after nine pregnancies, five live births and 12 grandkids later, won’t help me now…thanks for the ideas anyhow. You should know that other posters on here would tell you that you are sinning by even thinking of doing such things as testing mucous, et al.
            After all those million sperm that guys have were meant to all be used right? At least this is what ding a lings would have you believe….funny isn’t it that God only gave women about 400 eggs. I say that quality trumps quantity anyday, wouldn’t you?

        • whingeing? Not aware I ever whinged anything. As for your mother bearing ten children and doing it with grace, many of us have done similar. I bet your mother had a husband who did his part in protecting and providing for her and the offspring.
          I also doubt that with each baby he became more abusive to her and the other children. I seriously doubt that your father was a total narcissist for your mother would not have been able to function in good health with such a man gaslighting and projecting his faults/sins unto her.
          Ten children would have been a cinch for me if the father had been mature and not felt that his role as a man was something he didn’t feel like he should have signed up for. Did your father often say, “I wish I had become a priest….or I wish I had been a history teacher” or 22 other professions none of which he would have done with any more zest than the one he had.
          Like your mom, am sure you also had to wear hand me downs..and if she was like me, if she had to move every 3 years (9x in 27 yrs) she no doubt sewed all her curtains and drapes….often from sheets that she picked up at St Vinny’s or Salvation army. Knowing that your mother did all she did with aplomb and grace, no doubt she also did her fair share of helping others within the community as called to by Christ, as I did in every community we landed.
          Cory it looks like you either intentionally overlooked the url I provided of the mother of 8..posted above)..or refuse to believe that those of us who did use NFP, found it didn’t work even when we were lucky enough to have perfect cycles.

          • My father was anything but perfect. Oh the stories I can tell.
            But because she was a very prayerful woman who trusted absolutely in the Lord, she was able to bear the hardship with grace and dignity.
            The point is the centrality of Christ. If we keep our eyes on Christ rather than on the waves, He will see to our safety. But He must be paramount, not an after thought.

      • I think the problem you have is that you don’t believe in God or you believe that the Creator is a sadistic madman who should be replaced by Planned Parenthood.

        • I think your problem is you never learned to read and ask questions of the messenger, preferring to put your own spin on what was said. You sound like an absolute fool by saying I don’t believe in God….FYI, when you’ve been forced from the age of five to be the parent as your parents refused to do their job, when you go onto being an outstanding student even when a parent punishes you for bringing home good grades.. when a parent hates your artistic talent and ability to write poetry at a young age.. when a parent wishes you to destroy your life by getting pregnant out of wedlock in your teens, so that they can get state welfare money for your offspring, but you refuse to honor their wishes, let me tell you Isabel, you KNOW THERE IS A GOD. for you know that forces of evil have been after you from your youngest years. If I had not believed in God with my whole heart I would not be where I am today. Lesser souls might have ended it all not ever knowing any protection from parents and then a pretend husband.
          Your awesomely stupid idea that I love Planned parenthood, couldn’t be further from the truth. There should be no place in government for this program. As women we should be in charge of our bodies and not looking to our neighbors to take care of us..single moms are the biggest downfall of our country now…Breeding sons without father figures, these boys grow up to be weak and unable to function.
          If you have not seen them yet, I suggest you see the many videos on Youtube showing what demonic things PP has done with abortions and the selling of baby parts. Ask yourself why a pope says nothing against those youtubes and is down playing abortions. Again, why put a spin on something that I never said…or are you another one that enjoys judging others, and worse, not knowing all the facts before you open your trap?

          • If you believed in God, you would accept that you had weak parents but that you still owe them your life. We are to honor our parents because they are a gift from God and cooperated with him in the act of procreation so that we could exist. You seem very fearful that some couples might have more children than they can afford. Do you not know or believe that our Father is very rich and can certainly provide for his children? As children my sisters and I had had very difficult circumstances but I have no resentment toward my parents. I loved them. They were a gift to me and my sisters and I am so grateful they never even thought of using any means of contraception. It is evil and a grave sin against the First Commandment. an attack against God the Creator.

            I am sorry that you had a difficult childhood and suffering during your marriage. Life can be very hard sometimes. Still whatever it takes, I want to go to heaven. I want to be granted the grace of eternal life so I just try to accept whatever God grants me in terms or hardships or disappointments or joys and thank Him for them because I believe they can be used by him for good. I also really believer that everything I do can be used for good in the lives of others who need to get to heaven so sometimes even though I feel maligned or discarded I “offer it up ” as a present for someone who needs help in getting home to heaven. I have not perfected this at all yet but my pastor is training us in the virtues and I practice whenever I remember.

            I know that all of us are weak and fearful and that having a large family in times like this is practically heroic. The world and the devil are always tempting us to fear and to doubt that God will assist us in all of our needs. God exists and it is true that he has counted every hair on our heads. This life is so short and our destiny is eternal life in heaven. I just can’t be afraid of little children knowing that an almighty God exists and is ready and willing to be at our service in every moment of our lives.

            Young families and large families need our support in these times when they are under attack by so many sources. Their faith is such a beautiful example to me and I have great respect for their trust in God. That is why I had to defend them.

          • And what? Your being in charge of your bodies sounds pretty much like Planned parenthood spill.
            You want to be in charge of your body? Abstain from sex if you don’t want children.

          • Do you actually think it is April Fool’s day already. I had my last child 43 years ago, and a hysterectomy after that pregnancy so no need for you or anyone to tell me about my body. FYI no way that Planned parenthood should even exist…so why do you go overboard yet again, pretending to be God, the judge?

          • It does make me wonder why you keep coming on with punitive statements..were you a nun in a previous life? You know the kind that think they are God and were put here to torture others?

        • Are you two gals sisters for you both appear to have a need to put your own ridiculous spin on other’s comments. Planned parenthood is an abomination…ck out the youtubes on the selling of body parts, but let me warn you have a barf bag close by. Only a flipping fool would deign to tell me I don’t believe in God. It does appear you think that God wants you as judge and jury.

  6. The Holy Spirit is, as we read this, guiding a team of seminarians to find His Holiness’s chair and smash it to pieces before he can make any statements from it.

  7. The ‘African nuns’ story is not new. I distinctly remember it from my childhood (during reign of Paul VI), although I was not brought up Catholic. Wish I had some sort of reference for it. It’s possible I heard of it because I had a relative (also non-Catholic) who was a diplomat in Africa, but I have the sense it was from a broader source. I don’t think that at the time there was any real discussion of the potential abortifacient action of the Pill.
    What I remember much more vividly was Paul VI’s response after the rescue of the members of the Uruguayan soccer team who survived by cannibalism after a plane crash in the Andes. It was almost as if he was lauding the survivors for what they did. It’s not directly relevant to this discussion, but stands as an example of a bizarre, disturbing, pre-Francis papal utterance.

  8. Who preps the pope? I do not believe they can be that sloppy. There is a purpose to this utterance.
    I have yet to find a source supporting the claim that Pope Paul VI allegedly gave the allowance to nuns facing rape in the Congo [why only Congo?] to use contraceptives. Cf. Reaction to Pope’s Comments on Birth Control [].
    Condemnation from orthodox bishops and prelates ought to be swift.

    • Expect to hear only the sound of crickets from the usual suspects, i.e., media darlings. But I imagine they will sound like banging gongs on the Pope’s illegal immigration-wall statement.

        • For probably the 32nd time, the church was infiltrated by the commie/homo-sexualists in the sixties, perhaps even earlier. They were also the Marxist force for pushing feminism, which of course, every rattle brained woman jumped on that bandwagon. And now they cry as they realize they did three jobs to every man’s one…all for money and helping to pay for all those wars!
          If you really want to learn about the church and the sixties, I refer you to a Catholic woman who is more catholic than the pope.
          Ann Barnhardt…terrific site..and videos are awesome. She is one rare breed who walks the walk and talks the talk…and our gov’t and church I am sure hates her to the core. For sure the IRS hates her..they took her house as she refused to pay our corrupt gov’t….how many folks you know with cahones to do that I ask?

  9. Abortion is a medical, human problem, not a theological one? So, God’s ok with murder? And we don’t want imperfect human lives to be born? So, not only is the Pope seemingly approving of contraception but eugenics as well? Is this man Catholic?

    • Methinks the pope has a hugh mess in his own backyard with recalcitrant priests, notably in third world countries where the priests rape nuns. They do so for they don’t want to touch other women who might have AIDS or other diseases. But the horror show doesn’t end there…often those very priests make sure the nuns lose their pregnancy. Until the pope cleans up his own house, and decidedly one far worse, than your average American married couple, I have no faith in anything he’d say either for or against contraception.

      I find it the height of arrogance that any man/pope/priest can dictate that a woman must have umpteen children in an average 35+year menstrual cycle. Truly it’s irrational to think that women can bear that many pregnancies, can afford 20 kids and keep a marriage intact when she is on a 24/7 routine caring for that many people. Of course, if you are married to daddy bigbucks having all kinds of help it would surely make it feasible. But for the average woman it would spell outright lunacy. But back to the Pope’s problems with priests of all stripes who don’t take celibacy all that seriously… wonders why?

      Isn’t it bad enough that we watched in pain for decades at all the kids who were ruined by a pedophilic/gay clergy ..some of those kids would end up committing suicide, many here in Boston. Back then the church would pay parents to keep it all hushed up…but people are getting smart, and hopefully more HONEST and they won’t cover for the sins of the fathers, so to speak.
      Perhaps if one is a liberal Catholic, a simpleton PC mind finds it easier to ignore the reality of the Church’s sins, but concentrate on the lesser laity’s.

      Observing the Clerics in 3rd world countries, one ponders when the insanity will end. Between the pedophilia and gay priests in Europe/US, and clergy in other countries impregnating nuns, informs me we have bigger problems than arguing NFP and/or contraception, especially when nuns are forced to abort,

      Why any Catholic wants to be a part of, or contribute to any Sunday basket boggles the mind. IDEALISM is prohibited by REALITY..and once you take the scales off your eyes, you see that contributing to all the whitened sepulchres, everyone suffers. It is not part of God’s plan. Url attached follows paragraph..

      “Nuns hold a unique place in this sexual landscape. In a universe where AIDS is widespread, sex with nuns is thought to be safe; some imagine it might even have positive, healing powers. Priests who might have visited prostitutes see religious sisters as a healthy alternative. “One of the most dangerous myths in history,” adds Philip Jenkins, professor of history and religious studies at Penn State, “was this: if you were suffering from a serious sexual disease, sex with a virgin would cure it. That had awful consequences.”

      Perhaps someday, some pope will have a reality check, realizing there was a reason why the early church fathers were married…makes sense to me!

      • Correction. The paedophile priests were gay. The Catholic Church had a homosexual problem.
        As for attributing sexual shenanigans to celibacy, then perhaps you will explain to us why paedophilia exists among married couples (in fact father to child) and among married priests and pastors.

        • There is scholarly research showing the connection between pedophilia and homosexuality.. they are linked. This is why NAMBLA (North American man boy love association) is happy that the APA (Amer Psych Assoc) is now declaring previous thought that child adult sex was abnormal, is now being seen as quite normal. .and anyone who believes that horrific crap is evil in my book. You attempt to discount what I said by bringing in fathers who diddle with their own kids…and all that tells me is that they are not facing their own homo tendencies, instead picking on kids. Further that does not legitimize all the clergy pedo cases ongoing for decades here and in Europe and Africa, Australia and other places.
          I know all about incest having gone to a woman’s Catholic college (one of top 10 academically in the US, 50+ yrs ago). There we were expected to join a catholic services group each semester. It was then that I did volunteer work at a catholic home for unwed mothers/girls. These girls were repeatedly impregnated by fathers/brothers, uncles and they stayed at this home until they gave birth to the babies..and sent to hospitals.
          At that point, after the baby was born, the church did in fact put the baby up for adoption and made a cool $10,000 on each baby….and sent the girls back home to rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat…one of my first insights of the church’s dark underbelly that most never hear about. And worse, don’t CARE to know!
          But I saw with my own eyes, the young girls, ages 12 – 18 in that home walking around with big bellies, and knife scars on their bodies……and being forced to endure more often than not, repeated pregnancies, and having the baby taken from them…and then sent back home with no protection from any parent. Call it what you will, I call it serious sin of parent and church in sync with each other taking advantage of girls.
          I also believe this pope cares not a whit for seeing to it that this type of behavior stops. His all too warm, cozy, and very fuzzy relationship with the moes, along with his willingness to take millions of our tax dollars to bring in ME rapists who are given legitimacy via a faux religion to rape at will, assures more of this in the future. YOU then get to pay for the welfare of them!

          • You have got all your issues confused.
            You are blaming the priests and celibacy. I pointed out that celibacy is not the cause of sexual abuse among clergy. Homosexuality was.

          • Celibacy did NOT always exist in the earliest years of the church. “The Church was a THOUSAND YEARS OLD before it definitively took a stand in favor of celibacy in the twelfth century at the Second Lateran Council held in 1139, when a rule was approved forbidding priests to marry.

            In 1563, the Council of Trent reaffirmed the tradition of celibacy.Several explanations have been offered for the decision of the Church to adopt celibacy. Barry University’s Ed Sunshine told Knight-Ridder that the policy was initiated to distinguish the clergy as a special group:”A celibate clergy became the paradigm of separation from the sinful world.”

            A.W. Richard Sipe, a former priest and author of Sex, Priests and Power: The Anatomy of Crisis (1995), told Knight-Ridder that the”question at the time was who is the FINAL POWER — the king or the church. If [the church] could control a person’s sex life, it could control their money, employment, their benefice.”

            Garry Wills suggested in Under God that the ban on marriage was adopted to lift the status of priests at a time when their authority was being challenged by nobles and others.” –
            So for those who know church history it has always been about money….just like our gov’t they compete for who can be the world’s largest professional welfare organization.

            For those who actually believe your church is some poor entity, it would behoove you to learn just how much wealth the church has…I’ve read scripture, both old and new testaments many times, and have yet to find anything where Christ says that the church should be able to buy the world. Or have a stock portfolio of birth control or warmongering stocks/defense.

            We won’t even begin to get into the millions of our tax dollars the Vatican is getting from us to bring in illegals/refugees and jihadists…and then you get to pick up the welfare tab for we know that 90% of them stay on welfare for years at a time.
            See more at:

          • You: Celibacy did NOT always exist in the earliest years of the church.
            Me: Sigh! Did I say it did. You are so totally confused. Perhaps it is your bitterness that is causing this. Your point was that celibacy is the reason for the sexual abuse in the Church.. To which I answered that since many married men molest children and even their own children. Ergo, celibacy is not the cause of sexual abuse in the Church.
            You’ve got to put your thinking cap on and stop writing from emotion.

          • C29, indeed you are confused as I never said that you said celibacy did not exist in the earliest years. That was research I did. To avoid confusion in the future, you please do the same. It sounds like your bitterness is coming through if anyone disagrees with anything you say, even if you provide no proof.
            Celibacy is often a cause of sexual abuse…refer to post above.

          • No sunshine, you are the one confused. You can’t seem to follow the logic.
            Your point was that celibacy is what is making priests child molesters. So I pointed out to you that even married people are child molesters.
            To which you came back with celibacy not being in existence for the first 100 years.
            I don’t know what you are taking but your reasoning is completely up the creek.
            What has celibacy not being a rule in the first 100 years of the life of the church got to do with paedophilia?
            For goodness sake, you have got to start thinking well. You seem to throw out there whatever pops into your head whether it makes sense vis a vis the topic in point.

          • My reasoning is not up the creek but your ability to understand surely is…I never said the first 100 years of the church celibacy did not exist…ten centuries is a lot longer than 1 century. Funny but I even put that in caps….and you twist it into 100 years!! Further if you had read the entire aforesaid posting, you would see the connection between celibacy and the possibility of being gay/pedo as a result. I repeat that paragraph below….

            “Celibacy did NOT always exist in the earliest years of the church. The Church was a THOUSAND YEARS OLD before it definitively TOOK a STAND in favor of celibacy in the twelfth century at the Second Lateran Council held in 1139, when a rule was approved forbidding priests to marry.” So as you see it was not until 1139 that a ruling was made forbidding priests to marry. Seems to me 11 centuries of non celibacy did in fact rule in the early church…stop putting your spin on closed!

          • No Sunshine. Your reasoning is up the creek. You keep bringing in things that have got no bearing on the topic. Like I said, it is all a rant because of your bitterness.
            Stop posting from emotion.
            This post yet again is just one more in a long line of irrelevant posts.

          • How has celibacy worked out for the Catholic church? To paraphrase an old saying, “Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers.”

          • Reports of priests sexually molesting children have come to light in almost every major U.S. city. The RC Church has paid over $2 billion in damages to victims, who end up often emotionally scarred for decades. Some even kill themselves.

            The Church has acknowledged, to the credit of their horrific discredit, that 13,000 credible accusations of sexual, sinful abuse were made against Catholic clerics since 1950. You have to wince when you hear a whacko Cardinal admit that they never knew that having sex with kids was not right….OH MI GOD…the the same loony tunes who condemn women by having the audacity to tell them they must keep the seed of a rapist in their body even if dude happened to be Mr. Psycho with 7 generations of a defective mental gene/DNA.

            Strong evidence suggests that this widespread problem is caused, at least in part, by the Catholic Church’s clerical celibacy requirement and its other sexually repressive doctrines. Persons concerned about the problem should therefore urge Catholic leaders to reexamine and modify their teachings about sex. I’d add they are not just a day late and a dollar short, more like a few centuries and a few watts off.

            Desmond Morris’s classic book on human behavior,The Naked Ape, reports that homosexual behavior is often “seen in situations where the ideal sexual object (a member of the opposite sex) is unavailable. This applies in many groups of animals.” Morris goes on: “Similar situations occur with high frequency in our own species and the response is much the same. If either males or females cannot for some reason obtain sexual access to their opposite members, they will find sexual outlets in other ways.” Maybe explains moes & goats.

            Psychiatrist and ex-priest A. W. Richard Sipe likewise relates: “Doctor Lewis Hill, former medical director of Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Towson, Maryland, used to tell his resident psychiatrists, ‘Man is a loving animal, and he is going to love whatever he is near.’ The sexual histories of farm boys frequently recorded passing involvements with animals.”

            These facts about human sexuality indicate that Catholic priests, who are required by their Church to remain celibate and taught to ABHOR sexual relationships with women, might in some cases seek outlets for their sexuality in other ways with such behavior including homosexuality or pedophilia.
            For the life of me why is abhorring women viewed as any better than the koranimal’s view of women lesser than dogs??
            Having had close priest friends decades ago, I can vouch for what some of them told me….and it was that in the seminary they are taught to hate women and keep away from them. In light of that screwball advice we see the horrific criminal acts that evolve with mental misfit ideas and a jaundiced outlook.
            The offshoot of such screwy thinking has lead to kid’s deaths or lifelong emotional/psycho/physical problems…and some of them continue the crazy cycle by becoming gays/pedos too!!

          • Goodness your logic is totally up the creek. What about those who are married who fornicate no end, molest children,etc? Did that stop them from growing fondlers.
            Please deal with your bitterness elsewhere.

  10. This is what we get when a conclave of cardinals elects as pope a man who — let me be charitable — isn’t noted for his outstanding intellect. Unlike JP II, Benedict, and other recent popes, he simply doesn’t have the mental furniture to see the subtle implications of what he is saying. At least that is the charitable interpretation of the rolling disaster that is his pontificate.

    • Perhaps at the next conclave, candidates should be subjected to a verbal exam from some ruler-wielding nuns, orthodox and habitted of course. If a cardinal candidate misses any question on basis Catholic theology, doctrine, or morals, they get a crackle on the knuckles from Sister Mary Brutus, for their blatant ignorance. Those making it those this inquisition unscathed would be your eligible pool for further consideration to sit upon the Throne of Peter.

      • As silly as what you say is, it would be a clear improvement over what happened at the last conclave. There have been bad popes in the past, brilliant popes, mediocre popes, and intellectually humble popes. To have elected the latter sort of pope at a time when the Church is especially weak is our sorrow. He has undone in three short years, at least from the public’s perspective, all the good work of several more gifted recent popes. The institutional Church will be a long time recovering from the blunders of this man who is in a position above his pay grade.

        • Blunders? Or malice? Folks have been arguing about the same thing regarding Obama for years. They pattern is too consistent to be mere “blunders.”

          • Good point. I first thought Obama and PF were screwing up because they were “inexperienced” or “naive”. Then I thought they were screwing up because they had “poor advisers”. Then I thought that they were screwing up because they were stupid… Now I think they do what they do because they have an agenda, and everything is going according to their plans.

      • The Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI elevated to their ecclesiastical positions the men who voted in the conclave and it was they who chose Bergoglio and, given his glibness, it is not credible to think they did not know who Bergoglio was and what he believed.

        This is the man the Hierarchy wanted as pope which gives you some idea of just how distant from the fullness of the Catholic Faith are the members of the Hierarchy.

        IANS thinks it is reasonable to think the vast majority of the Hierarchy agrees with the pope when it comes to contraception and nearly everything else he believes.

        He is who they are which renders nugatory any reasonable hope a trad might have for the results of the next conclave for electing a trad pope would mean the hierarchy has repented of its embrace of anthropocentrism and ecumenism (The Universal Solvent of Tradition) and reconnected with Tradition and the men in the Hierarchy only repent of our past not their errors for the height and puissance of their haughtiness is incalculable.

        Does anyone not think the vast majority of the Hierarchy can not wait to fete Martin Luther, that fat violent fart-loving Jew-Hating vow-breaking gnostic drunk who taught that Jesus was a fornicator who was a compositum a composite of good and evil?

  11. In effect, this person has just compared the micro-encephalic potential of the Zika infection to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects by saying “Don’t get pregnant” instead of saying “Protect your self and the new life within you by avoiding the dangers inherent in risky behaviour”. Let’s ignore the centuries of work to control other mosquito-born illnesses like Yellow Fever, Encephalitis, Malaria, Tse-Tse and West Nile by killing off humanity. Is this the hidden message of Laudato Si?

  12. So according to Francis, avoiding pregnancy vis-à-vis contraception is now permissible, both for those under the threat of rape, and for those confronted with the remote possibility of a child developing birth defects.

    I’m sorry, even if the prospect of birth defects is 1 (i.e. a certainty), contraception is still not permissible.

    This hurts. What a scandal.

    • Brian, the church has morphed their thinking over the centuries whenever they think they need to form a different god …like with the old testament on slavery.

      If God and Jesus are the same, why do they agree on something so awful as this? Why would God command a woman marry her rapist? This is the very same thinking the muslim brotherhood states in their North American Stategic Alliance Objective…they believe they have a right to rape American women and to take them as wives…how’s that going to work out for all you ladies, eh?

      “If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.” (Deut. 22:28) Note she is just a clump of nothing, so she has no say!!

  13. You don’t take birth control pills for cases of rape. Is he saying the nuns took birth control pills for future rapes that they would be subjected to In Africa ? It sounds like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s already admitted he doesn’t know much about theology! The supposed leader of the largest religion in the world doesn’t know what the Bible teaches? He acts like he knows more than all the previous real Popes before him.

  14. Seriously, did no one else see this comment? How could anyone miss this? Who translated this and why is no one concerned about this translation? I will assume, since The Vatican Press Office has not made a correction to what might have been lost in translation, they confirm the accuracy of this statement. Who is responsible for this blasphemy?
    “And, the final thing I would like to say that it’s a monstrosity, because a priest is consecrated to lead a child to God, and he eats him in a diabolical sacrifice. He destroys him.”
    Read more:

    The Eucharist Is The Source and Summit of our Catholic Faith.

    Read more:

    • I found it. The Pope was talking about a pederast priest eating his victim “in a diabolical sacrifice,” not Our Eucharistic Lord. We need not make this interview even worse than it was!

      You should ask Father Z, et. al., to explain it though. If they come back with “context,” then you could point out the context of the contraception statement makes his meaning in that instance clear also. Then expect to be banned.

  15. Well, we’ve no choice now. We simply have to get to work and retire sainthood from Pope Leo IV, the man who in the 9th century built the 10 meter walls that surround the Vatican till this day. Not only did he commit himself to this unchristian construction project, but he had the audacity to build it to keep out — are you sitting? — the Religion of Peace! Yes, I know it’s hard to believe he could be so…well, so dark ages, but that’s the case. He was so silly he actually feared raping, looting, and murdering Saracens (today aka Mohammedans) instead of assuring Europe that they should be welcomed with open arms. If only Pope Francis had been around back then the Church could have been spared so much politically incorrect embarrassment!

    • It is likely that Pope Leo IV, in restoring much of the Roman infrastructure, also built or repaired some bridges. Therefore, he is a Christian.

    • Ironic isn’t it JC, that “He was so silly he actually feared raping, looting,” and now today, he gets millions of our tax dollars to implement that very demonic activity on our soil..and tells us further we have NO right to borders, or protection!! And yet, folks keep putting their bucks in the baskets, informing me that they don’t mind dealing with and aiding the devil….it’s all in the details, the Dollars!!

  16. This is my first time commenting, so bear with me. I read the Popes statement and it is not quite as clear cut wrong as some people are suggesting. I am not one to be over fond of our Holy Father and I often have criticism for him at home (ask my wife). However, he gave answers that, while simple and confusing at the same time, can actually be consistent with Catholic bioethics. Hear me out, I am not a bioethicist (just a second year med student) but I have had this situation explained to me by a renowned bioethicist Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. at a talk, he is very faithful to Catholic Teaching. The controversial parts of his statement have to do with avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil and then his usage of what Pope Paul VI did for the nuns in Africa to illustrate a point.

    What Pope Paull VI did was morally permissible with what was known at the time. Just as women are clearly allowed to physically fend off a rapist, they are allowed to protect their egg from being fertilized. This could be done by a barrier or by hormonal means. One may say “but contraception is intrinsically wrong.” This is true, given that it is between to consenting adults who are trying to frustrate the marital act (even if not married). The use of contraceptives is not intrinsically wrong as such. They are permissible for the use in certain medical conditions. Therefore, there is a context in which they are wrong as I laid out above: two individuals consenting to sex. So, while the use of contraceptives is always wrong in the above context, there are circumstances in which they are permissible. The problem in this circumstance lies with how likely are hormonal contraceptives to also be abortives.

    On the topic of whether or not they are abortifacients, the answer is more complex. From what I know in the vast majority of cases hormonal contraceptives prevent ovulation with a high certainty of degree (and so no fertilization will occur). However, there are cases when they fail and the egg is ovulated. While hormonal contraceptives have much smaller hormone than previously, they still thin the lining of the uterus to some degree which could reduce the risk of implantation by the human embryo. Therefore, in most cases they are contraceptives, but certainly could be abortifacients in limited circumstances. I don’t think I would want to take that chance as a women, even if it is very very small. Then we are brought full circle because it is permissible to use contraceptives for medical conditions, so then how does that apply if you are married/having intercourse (I feel like I just opened a can of worms)?

    If someone were to take Plan B after say being raped it could be an abortifacient or it could not depending on the period when a women is ovulating. If taken before ovulation in order to “protect the egg”, then it will stop ovulation and I would argue it would be morally permissible. If it was taken after then there is a chance that the egg would be prevented from implantation and cause and abortion (i.e. not permissible). Granted, a women would have to know her cycle very well.

    I believe that this is the idea that Pope Francis was getting at when he talked about Pope Paul VI. I do not believe he was saying that that case was analogous to the Zika virus and the use of contraception. Rather I think he was illustrating a point about contraception in broad terms. Granted, he did it in a confusing way and brought up a situation that was not morally analogous to the Zika virus. Thereby, further confusing the faithful and giving the media a chance to spin it.

    Like I said above, I am not a fan of Pope Francis and I have taken issue with a number of his statements and policies. However, I believe that I understand what he is saying in this context so I am trying to give him a fair representation. I could very well be wrong with the moral principals I laid out above (I have never seen a papal document address the issue in this context) but I will support them till I have evidence or argumentation that refutes it. I have no problem discussing this with those who disagree. Also, I want to say that I appreciate this blog for many reasons, though I hope Steve can try not to be too cynical or polemic.

    • “Avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one [clearly he’s referring to Zika as that’s what he was asked about], such as the one I mentioned with Paul VI, it was clear.”

      In the latter case of the nuns under threat of rape he explicitly condones the use of contraception; however, regardless of whether there’s a case to be made that such victims have the right to prevent conception via birth control, the key here is that he is using this as his basis for comparison to the threat of birth defects posed by Zika.

      As such, the implication is clear; just as contraception was a permissible means for those nuns to avoid pregnancy, so too it is being suggested as a permissible means for women to avoid pregnancies that might result in birth defects.

      • Thank you for the reply, I will have to read what the pope said again more carefully and see if that is what he is implying. At a first glance of what he said it did not seem like one necessarily led to another.

        • Here’s the rub. The pope was the one who brought up contraception, not the reporter. The reporter simply asked about “avoiding pregnancy”. If it had remained on those terms everyone could safely conclude that he was referring only to abstinence or NFP as those alone are compatible with Catholic teaching when there are grave reasons; and the threat of birth defects in some circumstances might constitute such a reason.

          But that’s not what happened.

          Instead, in addressing the issue of “avoiding pregnancy” the pope inserted the issue of contraception, citing one case where he thinks it’s a permissible means to avoid pregnancy; he then went on to equate that case with the need to avoid pregnancy under the threat of Zika.

          The implication is both intentional and self-evident, otherwise why bring up contraception at all? Again, there is nothing new or controversial about Catholics avoiding pregnancy for grave reasons, and as I mentioned before, the threat of birth defects in some circumstances may constitute such a reason.

          You suggest he was just trying to cite another case where it was morally licit to avoid pregnancy. But if that’s what he wanted, why not cite any number of scenarios which don’t involve contraception? Grave risk to the mother’s life, severe financial hardship, etc?

          Instead he reaches for an example, so strange and extreme, that there might actually be moral case for contraception, and then proceeds to sandwich it up against avoiding pregnancy under the threat of Zika.

          I’m sorry, when you answer a question about whether it’s okay to avoid pregnancy in Scenario A, by straining for Scenario B where contraception might actually be licit, unless you state otherwise, you’re condoning contraception in Scenario A.

          • Just read it. Shame on Pope Francis. This is clearly contradicting Church teaching and how it has been applied to modern situations by the recent popes.

          • It’s really awful; basically he’s saying that it’s okay to practice artificial contraception (i.e. an evil condemned as “intrinsically vicious” by Casti Connubii) in order to prevent the conception of children with undesirable birth defects.

          • It is. Its both contrary to the purpose of marriage and has eugenic implications. That statement takes the intrinsic good of generating human life between individuals and throws it out the window. It can logically be stretched to allowing for contraception for any defect and then for whatever characteristic the parents may find “inconvenient”. It throws out the the truth that one can never do an evil act to bring about a good.

            Its sad how the Pope talks about building bridges when he burns down the bridges of faithful Catholics. It will be interesting to see how the faithful bishops respond and how conservative Catholic media spins this. Before the clarification it still seemed unclear what he was aiming at one way or another, but this is obvious. Forget about SSPX being re-unified, Humanae Vitae etc just got torn to shreds.

    • No, it doesn’t follow. Using contraceptives to defend against rape-induced pregnancy may be licit (debatable) but it doesn’t relate to Humanae Vitae, which speaks to CONJUGAL acts (sorry for the caps). The only babies who should be conceived in the present situation are within marriage, which HV does cover–with clarity. (All other sexual commerce is fornication.) If married couples fear babies with birth defects, they are required to abstain.

      • I don’t disagree with any thing you just said. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough what I was trying to say in my post. (Edit) I think I did make it clear that I was differentiating between conjugal acts and rape. No where did I say it was permissible to have extramarital relations, rather that it would be impermissible to use contraception even in that case (which I think we all agree on here).

      • Zika is a virus, and any viral infection in early pregnancy can result in birth defects. Even the common cold, btw. So does this mean women should be permanently contracepting and never have children, just on the off chance that they might get a virus during pregnancy? Reduce the vector (mosquitoes, in this case) as much as possible, but there’s no way to be 100% virus proof during pregnancy.

        • If their hypothesis is correct, the Zika virus has a risk far and beyond cold viruses; so much so there is really no comparison.

          The current rate of infection by the Zika virus on Brazil is also very high.

          I think one could conclude there is a risk to pregnancy that is both very high, and not comparable to typical risks of pregnancy.

      • I think that terminology – rape-induced pregnancy – is verbal engineering.
        No pregnancy is induced – as if you can will it (unless you are talking IVF).

    • You make good sense. You are not wrong in most of what you say. And I guess that Pope Paul VI, if the story is even true, might not have known back then about the abortifacient properties? I don’t know.

      But the big problem that we know now, and what I think you are missing and might help you square all you thinking, is that there is no sure way to stop ovulation thus making it in a way equivalent to a barrier method. Even if you take it before, and consistently and for a long time… Even then there is a reduced chance of ovulation, possible fertilization and then abortion. They fail and sometimes ovulation might not be stopped.

      So in the rape scenario it doesn’t work.
      In the virus scenario much less!… People should abstain. There is no comparing the two scenarios. Such a comparison almost implies that married people in Brazil are like animals who are governed by their instincts and have no choice but to act on them! And these animals should risk killing their child rather than suffering from abstinence or having a defective child be born.

      So I think the implications are damaging in yet one more way. If people should use contraceptives because they just can’t be expected to abstain, then what is wrong with fornication? Should unmarried people abstain?

      It would be much easier if there were a clarification saying that the Pope spoke confusingly but meant abstinence in the second case. But the clarification from Father Lombardi already was given and it says otherwise.

    • I don’t know but I think this “to protect the egg” argument is rather bogus.
      Whoever thinks “”I am going to take the morning after pill to protect my egg”. No one does that. You do so, so that you will not get pregnant.

    • The controversial parts of his statement have to do with avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil and then his usage of what Pope Paul VI did for the nuns in Africa to illustrate a point.

      But this is ridiculous. When has Franciscus cited sources of Catholic Dogma, The Early Church Fathers, Thomas Aquinas, Trent, etc?


      But we are to think his citation of a thing Pope Paul VI putatively did in Africa (where IS the proof?) makes contraception ok in some circumstances?

      Just reading what he says in context, it is clear he has thought contraception through and thinks contraception’s jake in some circumstances but where is the evidence he has thought long and hard about Dogmatic Theology?

      Is it his duty as Pope to think of ways to publicly distance himself from an infallible truth when it comes to contraception and to stir-up a hornets nest and then jet away from the stings his words generate?

      He is a selfish and haughty person who , intended or not, is wrecking the Church

      • He is making me crazy! In Europe there is presently a rape crisis in Finland, Sweden and Germany and many women are afraid to go about their daily business in certain areas. Is the Pope saying that these women could indeed use contraception which would overlap into their marital relations? Further, it is a possibility that any woman could be a target of rape at some point in her life. Therefore why not tell all women to use contraception as a preventative measure against the mere possibility that they would fall victim to this crime at some point in her reproductive years?

        For married couples, this virus is frightening. I believe that the Pope just undermined their faith and trust in God and told them it is better to trust in birth control.

  17. Over at Father Z’s blog, it’s all “This isn’t magisterial, relax!” “Sit back and chill — this means nothing” … I’m talking about the comments, mostly. But can they not see what’s happening? Every time this ignoramus but-sly-as-a-fox opens his mouth, he opens the door a little wider, he sows a little more doubt about the teachings of the Church. How can anyone who loves Christ and His Church relax or chill about that?! Not only is this man causing others to sin because of his comments, he’s driving others away. How is that a matter of no consequence? How can anyone blithely wave away concerns?

  18. Pope Francis sure knows how to discourage folks who follow the rules. Not only does he call followers of Catholic doctrine such names as self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagian but now he has decided to fuzzy-up the Church’s teaching on contraception. Pope Francis is doing all he can to undermine folks who try to please God by being obedient. And with Pope Francis the payoff for obedience is ridicule. Pope Francis is a people pleaser and politician. He needs to be replaced with someone who knows how to do the job.

  19. There is an illuminating article in the Feb 2016 edition of the North American DIstrict Newsletter of Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri (FSSP) by D.Q. McInerny entitled Ambiguity. It’s every word speaks to the central and ongoing problem this papacy presents to Catholics (and others). It is not yet on line and too long to copy, but well worth the read. Pope Francis is never mentioned there by name, but as the old Spanish adage has it, “al buen entendedor, media palabra basta.”

  20. It’s actually worse than what you are saying. Pius XI made clear in Castii Connubii that the only licit way to avoid pregnancy for eugenic reasons was through the use of natural methods.

    Pius XII expanded on this and made clear in his 1953 Allocution to Midwives that natural methods could be used to avoid conception in four circumstances, eugenic being one of them. He rules out artificial birth control in these four circumstances.

    Gaudium et Spes 53 restated that natural methods were permissible in certain cases, and then footnoted both Pius XI’s Castii Connubii and Pius XII’s Allocution to Midwives.

    Then Paul VI in Humanae Vitae wrote:

    “If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained. (20)” (Humanae Vitae, 16)

    OK….. so now we see we have a Footnote #20 on this. Where does he footnote?

    (20) See Pius XII, Address to Midwives: AAS 43 (1951), 846.

    It’s clear. There are only four grave reasons that one can rely on natural methods to avoid conception. They are, as Pius XII laid out in his Allocution: medical, eugenic [i.e. concerns related to the health of the offspring], economic, and social so-called “indications,”.

    Specifically ruled out was the reliance on artificial birth control for eugenic purposes — the VERY reason the current Holy Father cites.

  21. Mr. Skojec
    Re: Pope Paul & Operation Dragon Rouge

    The original story on this matter claimed that Catholic Nuns were raped in post-Independence Congo in 1960 and that Pope Pius XII granted then leave to use artificial contraception post rape in the Congo.

    However it was noted that Pius died in 1958; and it was noted that 1960 era’s contraceptives would not be too effective at preventing contraception if administered after the rape in the Congo.

    So a now defunct German paper changed the Pope in the story to Paul VI and changed the authorization for contraception to abortion in the Congo during Operation Dragon Rouge.

    Dragon Rouge was a joint USA/Belgium 1964 operation to rescue foreign nationals who were being slaughtered by Simba rebels in the Congo. Five USAF C-130’s dropped 350 guys from the Belgium ParaCommando Regiment onto the Stanleyiville airport. The ParaCommandos seized the airfield, drove into Stanleyville and rescued about 1,800 foreign nationals to include the nuns in question.

    The ParaCommandos were vastly outnumbered and had to quickly herd, on foot, the shocked survivors back to the airfield, back-fill the C-130’s and fly them out. There was no field hospital on the ground and no time or resources except for the most pressing of life threatening injuries.

    I am sorry. I am not a historian. I have no tyet been able to identify where, when and by who this story originated.

    Keep up the good work.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

    • I have now read on a COMBOX {must be true…} that someone claiming to be one of those affected by the event attributed the supposed approval to a local Bishop, not a Pope at all. The problem I have with the whole story is that situations like this have occurred many, many times. Nun-raping is hardly an event that just popped up during the Congo unrest. How about the sweep of Soviet armies thru Poland and East Prussia and portions of Germany at the end of WW2? Etc, etc.

      I find the whole thing dubious and certainly wouldn’t take the word of this Pope on it…

      • Mr. RodH:

        Thank you for your reply.

        You make a very good point. But I would add this; I suspect the nun/rape/contraception story came out after the publication of Pope Paul’s Humanae Vitae in 1968. As far as I can tell it first appeared in the early 1970’s in a Church publication and then was picked up by the secular media.

        I also do not think the story is an urban legend; but rather a carefully crafted piece of anti-life propaganda. As far as I can tell this propaganda has never been refuted by any officer of the Church.

        I wish I had the skills to track down its exact origin.

        God bless

        Richard W Comerford

        • Thanks. Are you saying it was first published in a PRO-contraceptive article in a Catholic publication?

          I do realize that the Church does not refute every rumor by any means, and can’t, but for a Pope to regurgitate such a thing as fact if it isn’t is monstrous. In keeping with this Pope, I’m sorry to say, as I have no confidence in pretty much anything he says anymore. Anyone that can for example misquote Jesus {para 161, Evangelii Gaudium} is not above something of this order.

          • Mr. RodH:

            Thank you for your reply.

            Yes, that is my very hazy recollection. It first appeared in a Catholic publication. However I lack the research skills to track down the original article. I did spend about 3-hours trying.

            I am confident that my recollection of Operation Dragon Rouge is generally correct.

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • So in effect, we have an unsubstantiated rumor that might be true.

            My problem is that it has been repeated by a Pope who I simply do not trust to present Catholic truth as truth. That is a big problem for me. I have a Bible, a catechism and a copy of Denzinger, among many other books related to Catholic doctrine. From the Pope’s spokesmen and EWTN crowd, et al, I read explanations of what this Pope actually means by men who are not the Pope and from whom one can sense a certain desperation in as they attempt to make this man seem orthodox, coherrent or even sensible.

            I am a convert. I have faith in my Lord Jesus and His Church. I can also see why many say the teachings of the Catholic Church have changed since the ’60’s. It is, frankly, quite difficult to say otherwise. Documents of past Church teaching are quite easy to read, actually. Even when they are written in somewhat archaic language, their meaning is clear. Since V2 we read over and over that “doctrine hasn’t changed” as some new novelty is kicked out among the grazing herd of Catholics for instant consumption. One of the most recent is the Vatican document on evangelization of the Jews.

            My Protestant family and friends with whom I can no longer worship see in the Catholic Church buffoonery and nonsense and simple idiocy. It is hard to argue with them sometimes.

          • Mr. RodH:

            Thank you for your reply.
            I do not think it is true. But these are very hard times for a Christian. Sometimes the best we can do is to persevere untied to Christ in His passion.
            Mother Theresa once said that “God goes not expect us to be successful but to be faithful.

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • That is true.

            Our wonderful young Mexican Priest told us during RCIA “It is hard to be a Catholic”.


            The truly heartbreaking part of it for me is the overwhelming depth of truth and power that exists in the Catholic faith and Tradition, the unending riches of what God has given us. And maybe that right there is the crux of it, pun intended. The Enemy seeks to turn away the discussion from the life-changing good that is embodied in the Church and Her ageless and age-old teaching. As you say, it is ours to persevere. Thanks.

          • Indeed it’s hard to be a Catholic.
            But it’s a thousand times more terrible when it’s the Pope that makes being Catholic difficult.

  22. Aaaand, herrrre’s Jimmy!

    Pope Francis Speaks on Hot-Button Issues: 9 Things to Know and Share

    It’s trademark Jimmy: the most careful parsing imaginable, written in his unmistakably soothing, anodyne tone. Since much of what the pope says is indisputably misleading (at best), Jimmy does permit himself to allow that the pope could have phrased things better, but it’s otherwise the standard What the pope really meant stuff.

    Pope Francis’s remarks contain a number of important qualifiers… The qualifier “only” is also significant. One can think of building walls without thinking only of building walls…

    What he means, then, is that someone advocating the proposals put before him would not be acting like a Christian should act, in his view…

    Pope Francis slammed the idea that abortion could be justified…

    On the subject of contraception, he did not answer one way or another…

    He appears to affirm Paul VI’s reported decision regarding nuns in the Belgian Congo, but he does not draw any application for the contemporary Zika virus…

    However, he does not address the question of whether divorced and civilly remarried couples can receive Holy Communion…

  23. The Vatican has just confirmed that the Pope was indeed speaking about *contraceptive* use in situations like the Zika virus. Off-the-cuff remarks are not Magisterial in any way, of course, but that won’t stop the remarks from doing incalculable damage.

  24. We hear that women are not ordained in the Catholic Church. I must question that, for it seems to me we have mostly 12 year old girls ordained as Bishops.

    What man would sit back and see what this Pope is doing and not by the grace and power of God resist him to his face?

    • Ann Barnhardt addresses this very topic of the masculine need today.

      “The concept and imagery of the Church Militant is dependent on the idea of masculine leadership manifested in battle and struggle. The Latin root militans denotes foremost being a soldier and servant in a military sense, and secondarily as one in struggle. Masculine leadership is not optional. It is mandatory in every aspect of this total war. While both men and women are engaged in this battle, it is masculine leadership which must be the focus. The yawning void of masculine leadership we face today is the result of a civilization drowning in narcissism and Feminism, abetted by a feminized priesthood, a feminized liturgy (mainly the Mass, but also the Hours and other things), and feminized churches – the buildings themselves.” I suggest you read the entire tour de force here….

    • Mr. Hans:
      Re: Pope Paul and Birth Control

      There are several different versions of the story which tie in with the rescue of foreign Nationals from Stanleyville, the Congo in 1964 in a joint USA/Belgium Operation titled “Dragon Rouge”. If you are bore I have a brief description of the rescue below.

      The first story featured Pope Pius XII and the alleged rapes happening after Belgium Independence in 1960. But Pius died in 1958 so the Pope was changed to Paul and time to 1964. The first story also had the Pope authorizing the use of preventive contraceptives AFTER the alleged rapes. But that hat did not make sense either; so later stories had the contraceptives authorized before the alleged rapes. However as the nuns were not expecting violence that version too did not make much sense.

      The final version of the story had the nuns allegedly raped in 1964 and subsequently rescued by Belgium ParaCommandos. After the alleged rapes the nuns were taken to a feld hospital (There were no operational civilian hospital) where the alleged abortions, allegedly authorized by Pope Paul, took place. The final version of the story relies on the testimony of an unnamed civilian, Belgium, doctor who purports that he was present at the alleged abortions. Said last version appeared in an article published in a now defunct German, biweekly magazine.

      However a number of questions are raised by the final story:

      1. Would a missionary Roman Catholic nun allegedly impregnated by rape agree to murdering the baby in her womb?

      2. How did Pope Paul know the nuns were raped as all communications were down?

      3. A military field hospital was NOT lifted into Stanleyville Airport.

      4. There were only 350 Belgium ParaCommandos on the ground – vastly outnumbered. The rescue was really a brief raid. Time was short. When could the abortions have taken place?

      5. Would Belgium Catholic medical personnel of the 1964 era agree to perform abortions on Catholic nuns?

      We need a professional or even amateur historian to put the whole story together.

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

  25. From LSN: Fr. Lombardi told Vatican Radio today, “The contraceptive or condom, in particular cases of emergency or gravity, could be the object of discernment in a serious case of conscience. This is what the Pope said.”

    Well, why can’t you just abstain you ask Steve?
    Well, apparently it’s some kind of an emergency! I guess when you need to you must.

  26. Steve: What about the part of the “Happy” couple from Tuxla? Happy while in living in the path… in the path that has an undefined (indefinite?) length… all the while in grave sin and possibly dying in their sleep and waking up in hell any random night?
    What is interesting is that a little later, regarding the friendship of priests with women, the Pope said something that didn’t sound so happy about (unintentionally) that couple: He said that someone involved with a person who is not their spouse is living in sin.

    Maybe that could be an article?

    Another interesting one for me is “Imagine, to become a priest there are eight years of study and preparation, and then if after a while you can’t do it, you can ask for a dispensation, you leave, and everything is OK.” OK?!..

  27. Just a note — the old Pill was not abortifacient. It was the later, low-estrogen Pill that does work most of the time not by preventing ovulation but by rendering the uterus inhospitable.

  28. “There is simply no way to separate the words he uttered from the context he uttered them in. He mentions this mythical case of “Blessed Paul VI” giving a dispensation for contraception in the same breath as he says, “avoiding pregnancy.” To him, these are equivalent. This is what his syntax is telling us.”

    Steve, you state the plain truth. The context makes it 100% clear that “avoiding pregnancy” means contraceptives rather than NFP. There is no way to read the statement differently; anyone who tries to do so is abusing the obvious meaning of the words.

    I spent 2013 and much of 2014 defending Pope Francis, (a) out of respect for the Petrine office and the promise of Christ (Mt 16:18), and (b) because there are some aspects of Francis’ pontificate that are good and very welcome (e.g., his emphasis on poverty and economic injustice, which is an essential element of the teaching of Jesus).

    I have spent 2014 and 2015 gradually coming to terms with the fact that some of his words and actions are indefensible. In particular, more so even than the offhand remarks made in interviews, his actions during the two synods on the family are indefensible. He personally handpicked leaders and participants for the two synods, and these handpicked choices were the ringleaders of an attempt to push the Church toward abandoning the clear teaching of Christ on divorce (and by extension, the clear teaching of Christ on marriage and sexual love generally). The synod was stacked in favor of a small group of Germans and Belgians who have capitulated to the culture of death (only to see Mass attendance in their nations drop off a cliff). When this faction was unsuccessful in shoving through their agenda, the Pope made it clear where he stood by publicly reprimanding the bishops who opposed Kasper and co., accusing them of being Pharisees closed to the Holy Spirit.

    My statement that some of Francis’ words and actions are indefensible is not a question of rejecting Vatican II. The documents of the Council are orthodox and good, and the true content of the Council is reiterated by St. John Paul II and by Benedict XVI (both of whom participated in the Council personally). Vatican II was not the conquest of the Church by Modernism; rather, the actual documents of the Council outline the Church’s response to Modernism (much as Trent outlined the Church’s response to Protestantism). Although I love the beauty of the Latin Mass, I attend Mass primarily in the vernacular (my son is learning to serve in both Latin and English), and I hope that there will not continue to be such a deep divide between those who attend Latin Mass and the remainder of the Catholic faithful. It is a tragedy that after Benedict worked so much to bridge this divide, the current situation is making it worse.

    Cardinals Kasper, Marx, Danneels, etc. have bought into the demonic lie that by altering the Church’s teaching on sexual love and family, they can reach out to a world that has largely rejected this teaching. But this is a poisonous error (for which they are culpable, not innocent bystanders). Catholic doctrine on marriage is ultimately Christology, because the love of husband and wife participates in and makes visible the great mystery of Christ and the Church (Eph 5). A distortion of the teaching on marriage is a distortion of the teaching on Christ; not only the truth of the human person, but the truth of God is thereby obscured. If and to the extent that Francis promotes this same error, he is leading the flock astray. Even if every other teaching to come from his lips was orthodox (which is also questionable), this problem alone would be enough to damage the entire message of the Gospel. One drop of poison is sufficient for the whole cup.

    The statement on contraception and Zika is arguably the most problematic single statement Francis has made to date. It has the potential to be as damaging as ‘Who am I to judge?’. Both statements make it abundantly clear that even while much of what Francis says is orthodox (e.g., in this same interview he categorically rejects abortion as a crime comparable to murders perpetrated by the Mafia), he is nonetheless mixing arsenic into the food. The many orthodox teachings make the errors more dangerous and hard to deal with, because they contribute to the narrative that he is simply being misinterpreted by the media. A spoonful of sugar and all that.

    Denial of reality doesn’t help anything, in either direction (that is, (a) pretending that nothing is wrong and that Francis is not saying or doing anything problematic; or (b) pretending that Francis is not really the Pope). Only thing to do is to pray for him daily, and to seek guidance from the many examples of saints who have lived through problematic Popes. The Church has survived many periods of doctrinal confusion (the obvious examples would be the 4th and 16th centuries), and it will survive this one.

  29. On September 17, 1983, Pope John Paul II gave these powerful words affirming the Church’s constant teaching prohibiting contraception:

    “When … through contraception married couples remove from the exercise of their conjugal sexuality its potential procreative capacity, they claim a power which belongs solely to God; the power to decide in a final analysis the coming into existence of a human person. They assume the qualification not of being cooperators in God’s creative power, but the ultimate depositories of the source of human life. In this perspective, contraception is to be judged objectively so profoundly unlawful as never to be, for any reason, justified. To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that, in human life, situations may arise in which it is lawful not to recognize God as God.”

    Now why would a Pope lead Catholics to believe they have a right to replace the Creator with themselves and to not recognize God as God in any situation?

  30. I don’t understand why the Church in her wisdom and mercy would abandon the lives and wellbeing of its nuns to contraceptive use in a war zone where they were targets of rapists. Didn’t anyone think to get the nuns out of there? I really can’t believe this story is true. Does anyone have any facts on the Popes statement regarding Pope Paul VI giving nuns in a war zone contraceptives instead of machine guns?

    • The point is taking such pills in that circumstance is not the sin of contraception. It is repelling an unjust aggressor. The sperm has no right to be there. That has no comparison to the virus issue.

      • The way to repel an unjust aggressor is by shooting them. The nuns should have been given machine guns with lots of ammunition if the Church wouldn’t help them to get out of there.

        What you are saying seems in direct conflict with the teaching of Pope John Paul II.

        “When … through contraception married couples remove from the exercise of their conjugal sexuality its potential procreative capacity, they claim a power which belongs solely to God; the power to decide in a final analysis the coming into existence of a human person. They assume the qualification not of being cooperators in God’s creative power, but the ultimate depositories of the source of human life. In this perspective, contraception is to be judged objectively so profoundly unlawful as never to be, for any reason, justified. To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that, in human life, situations may arise in which it is lawful not to recognize God as God.”

        Was this a situation in human life where it was lawful not to recognize God as God?

          • Mr. EarlofGroan:You posted in part: “Would Jesus use a machine gun?”

            I do not know if they had machine guns in the First Century AD; but Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ told HIs Apostles: “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. – Luke 22:36

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

        • Rape is not a conjugal act. One cannot contracept when one is not engaged in a conjugal act.

          The sperm is an unjust aggressor. Taking measures to stop that sperm is not contraception.

          JP II’s quote does not contradict anything I said.

          Having sex when you have a virus has absolutely nothing to do with rape. To equate the situations is to deny fundamental classic moral theology.

    • Ms. isabel Kilian:

      You posted in part: “Does anyone have any facts on the Popes statement regarding Pope Paul VI
      giving nuns in a war zone contraceptives instead of machine guns?”

      There are three distinct, and different stories floating around regarding this matter as part of the post Humanae Vitae. I have outlined the three stories as I understand them in this thread below. I am sure that I have made mistakes.

      However the violence in question lasted from approximately 1960 – 1965 and many Christians simply refused to leave their posts. True martyrs. May we be inpsired by their witnes.

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

      • If the period in question lasted from 1960-1965, and Humanae Vitae – Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Paul VI on the regulation of birth was promulgated on 25 July 1968, how it is such a dispensation never made it into Humanae Vitae?

        • Mr. @FMShyanguya:

          Thank you for your reply. You posted in part: “how it is such a dispensation never made it into Humanae Vitae?”

          Clearly, Sir, you are a genius. I should have thought of that. (Slap forehead with palm of hand.)

          God bless

          Richard W Comerford

          • Re: you are a genius I wish I was … if you see my first post here, I wrote:

            I have yet to find a source supporting the claim that Pope Paul VI allegedly gave the allowance to nuns facing rape in the Congo [why only Congo?] to use contraceptives.

      • So far no such evidence that Bl. Paul VI issued such a dispensation. Cf. Liars, damn liars and Jesuits | Hilary White []

  31. Janet Smith over at the Catholic World Report has an excellent essay on the issues that came up with Pope Bergoglio. It is well worth the time to read it through.

    • James, I googled Catholic World Report and Janet Smith. A couple of titles came up, written in 2015 and earlier. Could you provide the title of the essay to which you refer?
      Also, are you the same James who made excellent comments on the essay ‘Papal Errors’ by Dr. Randall Smith (The Catholic Thing)?

      • Cf. Contraception, Congo Nuns, Choosing the Lesser Evil, and Conflict of Commandments []
        Again a “Nuns in the Congo” section with no supporting authoritative Church document. This time “officials of the Church” many decades ago giving permission.

  32. New to this forum. And I’m very sad that this is my first post:

    Pope Francis just openly advocated the Intrinsic Evil of Contraception as a possible recourse for preventing conception during freely entered into sexual intercourse for people who deem certain human beings as unworthy to conceive. This is the promotion of Evil for a ‘good’ end (and that good end, is itself an Intrinsic Evil known as Eugenics). This is Proportionalism, which is explicitly condemned in the Encyclical Veritatis Splendor. Furthermore, that Contraception is an Intrinsic Evil which can never be willingly entered into is settled Doctrine.

    11. June 1987

    Pope John Paul II Addressing a Conference on Natural Family Planning, he said:

    “What is taught by theChurch on contraception does not belong to material freely debatable among theologians.”Those who argue otherwise”in open contrast with the law of God, authentically taught by the Church,guide couples down a wrong path.” (Prairie Messenger, June 15, 1987;Osservatore Romano, June 6, 1987)

    And from Veritatis Splendor:
    “With regard to intrinsically evil acts, and in reference to contraceptive practices whereby
    the conjugal act is intentionally rendered infertile, Pope Paul VI teaches:
    ‘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
    (cf.Rom.3:8) – 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.'” (n.80).
    This is out right heresy (via the advocation of an Intrinsic Moral Evil) that has been spoken by the Holy Father and officially reaffirmed by his press secretary Fr. Lombardi and accepted and supported by the Philippine Catholic Bishops Conference. More local Bishops conferences will follow…
    The Trump Wall crap was a hand grenade thrown into a crowded room, the acceptance of Contraception for any reason by the Pope is a 100 Megaton Nuclear Device being detonated over one of the largest cities in the world.
    May God help us for we are perishing. And no, that is not being overdramatic, the Pope just openly and resolutely contradicted settled Catholic Doctrine on the very Nature of Human Sexuality which is essential the very nature of Man.

    • The innovators have been unable to get past this saintly pope cf. the Synod on the Family shenanigans, and now this.

      “This is out right heresy.”

      As I posted below, the Church must now swiftly condemn the Pope.

      • Yes! I believe this was a blatant outright LIE too. How could Pope Francis LIE about a former Pope without being challenged by the Church? This seems to be completely orchestrated as part of an agenda to undermine the encyclical Humane Vitae.

    • Thank you for your thoughts and for offering us the teaching of our Popes on the intrinsic evil of contraception. It is always good to reacquaint oneself or to become familiar with our Church’s teaching so as not to be misled by a heretic. And as St. Jerome (i think) said, “There is no sin in calling a heretic a heretic!”

      Welcome. I am very glad you are here.

    • It shows how out of whack things are, with Pope Francis and also Catholic Bishops Conferences. Indeed, we need to pray the Rosary daily. I honestly don’t see what else orthodox, and scandalized Catholics can do. This is a spiritual battle.

  33. We have to hand it to the innovators, you have to hand it to them, they telegrapgh what they want to do way in advance.

    Q. “At half a century from Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, can the Church take up again the theme of birth control? Cardinal Martini, your confrere, thought that the moment had come.

    Pope Francis: All of this depends on how Humanae Vitae is interpreted. Paul VI himself, at the end, recommended to confessors much mercy and attention to concrete situations.

    Cf. The Abyss []

    • Mr. EarlofGroan:

      You posted in part: “Contraception is evil?”

      Yes. An intrinsic evil.

      and in part: Aren’t there worse things to worry about?”

      Well, I understand the Kardashians are going through another crisis right now; but besides that… no. Pope Paul VI, prophetically, in his letter (Encyclical) titled Humanae Vitae warned that artificial contraception would destroy civilization. One only has to take a walk through one of our inner cities or watch the news to realize that he was right. Perhaps we should start studying up on Sharia Law?

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

      • You are not being sarcastic about there not being worse things to worry about? Contraception is worse than ISIS? Worse than having one of the highest murder rates in the developed world?

        How would contraception destroy the world?

        • Mr. EarlofGroan:

          Thank you for your reply. You posted in part: “You are not being sarcastic about there not being worse things to worry about”


          and in part: “Contraception is worse than ISIS?”

          Far, far worse.

          and in part: “Worse than having one of the highest murder rates in the developed world?”

          I do not know what you mean by the “developed world”. In the USA about 10,000 people are murdered a year via firearms while 1.5 million are murdered by surgical abortion. the violent crime rate per capita in the UK is four time the rate in the USA. Sweden is the second rape capital of the world after South Africa.

          and in part: “How would contraception destroy the world?”

          I think that it would destroy civilization as we know it. IT has always been a headache. The Roman Emperors tried to enforce laws against it. A surviving Catechism from 1st Century AD Rome forbids it. The culture of death mentality may have already destroyed the USA. We could be a corpse that has not yet reached room temperture.

          God bless

          Richard W Comerford

          • Contraception is not abortion.

            Wouldn’t condom use reduce abortion?

            How is contraception a death culture? And you didn’t say how it will destroy the USA.

          • EarlofGroan:

            Thank you for your reply. You posted in part: “Contraception is not abortion.”

            Some artificial contraceptives murder the baby. Abortion is the ultimate contraceptive. The U.S. Supreme Court in a series of related judgements on this matter essentially first legalized the sale and use of contraceptives and then if contraception failed allowed contraception by murdering the infant.

            and in part: “Wouldn’t condom use reduce abortion?”

            Condoms have been around since Pharaoh. As the use of artificial contraceptives use rises so does abortion.

            and in part: “How is contraception a death culture?”

            JP II (now a Saint) wrote that we are living in a culture of death wherein human life, marriage, family are all sacrificed for the pursuit of pleasure and power. The “pill” has helped enable the culture of death.

            and in part: “And you didn’t say how it will destroy the USA.”

            Contraception enables abortion Since Roe v Wade @ 60-million American have been murdered in their mothers’ wombs. 40% – 50% of the murdered babies have been black, an unknown number from other non-white groups and 90% of the mothers Christian. The Rev, Jesse Jackson, before eh became rich and important, called this genocide. No country can surive the slaughter of its innocenst at such numbers.

            In teh USA PLanned Parenthood has always been about controlling the non-white and Christian population.

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • The use of a condom is does not function as abortion. If anything, its use would reduce abortions; people don’t get abortions if they are not pregnant.

            If my wife and I decide to use one, where is the evil?

          • Mr. EarlofGroan:

            Thank you for your reply. You posted in part:

            “The use of c condom is does not function as abortion.”

            The use of any form of artificial contraception denies life and makes us enemies of God: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” Genesis 1:28

            “If anything, its use would reduce abortions”

            Really? Since the legalization of artificial contraception (to include condoms) by the Supreme Court [Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)] abortions have only increased to 60-million murdered babies.

            and in part: “people don’t get abortions if they are not pregnant”

            Alas. Despite the widespread availability of condoms (to include distribution in some Public Schools) peopel are still getting pregnant and aborting at a rate of 1.5-million murdered babies a year.

            and in part “If my wife and I decide to use one, where is the evil?

            In your hearts?

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • “The use of any form of artificial contraception denies life”

            So does deciding not to have sex, or to use the not-very-effective-rhythm method.

            In any case, how can one deny life that doesn’t yet exist? How many kids do you have (rhetorical question – I am not looking for a numerical answer here). However many kids you have, did you deny life by not having more?

            “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” Genesis 1:28

            How many humans are there? I think humans have succeeded – they achieved God’s command. We have filled the Earth – people live on every continent, including one that isn’t inhabitable (Antarctica). Why would you think God wants overpopulation? Humans have been incredibly fruitful.

            You are conflating the acceptance of contraception and the acceptance of abortion.

            “Alas. Despite the widespread availability of condoms (to include
            distribution in some Public Schools) peopel are still getting pregnant
            and aborting at a rate of 1.5-million murdered babies a year.”

            I bet most who get pregnant are NOT using contraceptives properly. If they did, would you not imagine that abortion would decline?

            In reply to my question,
            “If my wife and I decide to use one, where is the evil?”, you reply,

            “In your hearts?”

            And what evil is that?

          • Mr. EarlofGroan:

            Thank you for your reply. You posted in part: “So does deciding not to have sex, or to use the not-very-effective-rhythm method.”

            Really? Not Effective? Mother Theresa taught lepers Vatican Roulette. It worked for them. 100%. Or perhaps it is too hard for you to figure out?

            and in part: “In any case, how can one deny life that doesn’t yet exist?”

            You are causing human life not to exist.

            and in part: “However many kids you have, did you deny life by not having more?”

            We are always open to life. In fact we adopt special needs children that no one else wants.

            and in part: “I think humans have succeeded – they achieved God’s command.”

            And you know this how? Did God place a number on this matter?

            and in part: “Why would you think God wants overpopulation?”

            Why do you think there is overpopulation? Because the elites and Planned Parenthood say so?

            and in part: “Humans have been incredibly fruitful.”

            Really. Like in Europe? Where the elites have to imported “refuges” to replace the the population they have contracepted and aborted out of existence?

            and in part: “You are conflating the acceptance of contraception and the acceptance of abortion.”

            Sorry. Not me. Paul VI. Vicar of Christ. Successor to Peter. ANd that was in 1968 before we murdered 60-million of our own. They call that prophetic.

            and in part: “I bet most who get pregnant are NOT using contraceptives properly.”

            You mean like they are stoned and/or drunk?

            and in part: “If they did, would you not imagine that abortion would decline?”

            I know what we can do. We will mandate teaching contraception in public schools at an early age and make contraceptives easily and widely available. That will work.

            and in part: “And what evil is that?”

            You are playing God. A dangerous thing to do.

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • “Or perhaps it is too hard for you to figure out?”

            Thanks for your sarcasm.


            It is not as effective as you imply through your sarcasm.

            You state, “You are causing human life not to exist.” So are you, by not having more kids.

            In reply to my statement about humans being fruitful, “And you know this how? Did God place a number on this matter?” How do you know we haven’t succeeded? Do you have a number?

            “Really. Like in Europe? Where the elites have to imported “refuges” to replace the the population they have contracepted and aborted out of existence?” The EU has about 3/4 of a billion people. How do you consider that “Out of existence”? There are more people in the EU than ever before.

            “You mean like they are stoned and/or drunk?” Are you denying that they are not using contraceptives properly? You seemed to have avoided that question, with facetious response.

            “We will mandate teaching contraception in public schools at an early age and make contraceptives easily and widely available. ” Funny you should mention that – teaching of proper use of contraception decreases pregnancy rates.

            “You are playing God. A dangerous thing to do.” No I am not. How is that playing God. No more than playing God as to your decision on how many kids to have.

          • Mr. EarlofGroan:

            Thank you for your reply. You posted in part: “Thanks for your sarcasm.”

            It is not sarcasm. It takes effort. And Yuor National Institutes of Health works for Casar who is fanatically pro-contraception and abortion.

            and in part: “So are you, by not having more kids”

            That is God’s decision.

            and in part:” How do you know we haven’t succeeded? Do you have a number?”

            You are obsessed with numbers. It is a matter of being open to life. You are not open to life. If you are generous with God. He will be generous with you.

            “The EU has about 3/4 of a billion people. How do you consider that “Out of existence”?”

            Sorry. 500-million. And (except for the Muslims) they are grey. Unfruitful. Soon Muslims will be a majority.

            and in part: “Are you denying that they are not using contraceptives properly?”

            You seem to be denying human nature.

            and in part: “teaching of proper use of contraception decreases pregnancy rates”

            Sorry. In NYC Contraception education and contraceptives themselves are mandatory in public schools yet 50% of black babies are aborted. You contraceptives do not seem to work.

            and in part: “No I am not”

            Oh yes you are. You are closed to human life. God is teh author of life. Not you.

            Convert to Christ.

            God bless

            Richard W COmerford

  34. There are multiple problems going on here: 1) you have a logical fallacy of False Equivalence being employed (rape & freely entered into contracepted sexual intercourse to avoid unwanted child being the false equivalents) to support 2) a Proportionalist argument to employ the ‘so called’ lesser evil of Contraception in place of Abortion (as if they are the only two possibilities, abstinence and actually conceiving a child not optional apparently) to bring about 3) the ‘good’ of Eugenics, the intentional and willful rejection of the conception of a human being based on an accidental defect that may occur in the child who would still be a fully human and in the image and likeness of God and redeemable for Eternal Life.

    And of course, the whole Heresy thing, you know, intentionally contradicting settled Catholic Doctrine, and then of course the whole Grave Scandal thing of leading who knows how many souls into mortal sin. Not to mention, the whole scandal thing that is going to happen tomorrow and already today in hundreds of parishes where Fr. Wonderful tells the parishioners the great news, that Pope Francis is more merciful than Jesus and Contraception is now in play for ‘serious reasons with discernment’ wink, wink.

    Two observations, the more I consider this, the more I think that it is possible that 1) this whole question was a set up to begin with and the Pope had an answer ready at hand for it to re-open up the debate on contraception in the Church with the goal of at the very least modifying it (obscure reference to a mythical Paul VI permission of contraception? Really, right on the tip of the tongue?) and 2) the condemnation of Abortion was a Red Herring intended to pacify the crowd “at least he condemned Abortion! Yeah! That was great!” so that the ‘special’ permission granted for the use of contraception gets a pass in many circles, which appears to be working.

    Only a thought (well the last paragraph, the other stuff is unfortunately not opinion)

    • Fr. RP — You did a lot of good thinking here. Those like me not so well schooled as you clearly are (and perhaps much more lazy!) are content to think the current pontiff is just plain sloppy all around, in his thinking and in his actions. The only positive side to his repeated off-the-cuff public interventions is that the world has grown weary of them and pays him less attention every day.

    • But who should I believe, Pope Francis or Father Z ? I believe the Pope. I believe Pope Francis when he plainly makes a statement. And I believe he knows what he is saying and why he is saying it. Believe it and deal with it according to what is best for your soul.

    • Thanks a lot, Father, May God Bless you! This is the first time I hear a clear logic on why contraception is more evil than abortion. Just a question I wonder if an aborted baby can be baptized so he or she can enter heaven?

  35. Pope Francis’ latest on contraception, very troubling and disturbing:

    “Seeking to quell the controversy, the Vatican’s deputy spokesman, Monsignor Piero Pennacchini, said Thursday that there were “no Vatican documents in this regard” authorizing the use of the contraceptive pill for nuns in dangerous areas to avoid pregnancy.” – Vatican Furor Over Bosnian Rapes – It Denies Allowing Nuns In Danger Zones To Use The Pill [my emphasis], March 05, 1993 | Chicago Tribune [].

  36. In 1993, there Vatican said it had no documents in this regard:

    “Seeking to quell the controversy, the Vatican’s deputy spokesman, Monsignor Piero Pennacchini, said Thursday that there were “no Vatican documents in this regard” authorizing the use of the contraceptive pill for nuns in dangerous areas to avoid pregnancy.” – Vatican Furor Over Bosnian Rapes – It Denies Allowing Nuns In Danger Zones To Use The Pill [my emphasis], March 05, 1993 | Chicago Tribune [].

      • No they won’t. Nor will they say anything about the papal celebration along with the Lutherans for the 500 anniversary of the reformation.
        Come on! If they did not say a peep regarding “save the whales, trees and global warming” in laudato si. They didn’t say a peep about “Ecumenism of blood”. They didn’t say one word about “we are all one”. Crickets with “don’t Proselytize”. You think they are gonna start now? right….

  37. The Pope did not permit the use of contraceptives to prevent conception, in the case of rape or any other case. Contraceptives are forbidden in Humanae Vitae. As such, they are evil.

    The issue of greater or lesser evil is irrelevant. Evil is evil.

  38. I wonder what Church Militant TV would do with this news? Not report it? report it and take the approach of Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers with a headline “Pope Francis strongly condemned abortion in his interview back to Rome”?

    • No, they already made a Vortex three hours ago. Their official line is that the Paul VI story is myth. Interesting, since it was Francis who beatified Paul VI. Why would he lie twice in the interview regarding Paul VI.

      “Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.” Then goes on “On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, or in the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear.”- Francis

      More noteworthy still, in order to believe that the Paul VI story is a wholesale lie or myth, one must also believe that Pope Francis just doesn’t know any better.

      The very suggestion is patently ridiculous.

      Francis is the pope who beatified Paul VI. He has complete access to every shred of evidence contained in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints’ dossier on Montini.

      Does anyone believe for even a moment that the long running “rumor” of his involvement in the Congo nuns situation isn’t addressed therein?

      The bottom line is this: When it comes to the relative accuracy of the “rumor,” Francis is among the most well-informed persons on the face of the earth; certainly he knows more about this than the rest of us.

      If this is not the case, then it speaks volumes about the Vatican II “beatifications/canonizations”.

  39. I do pray that the traditional Catholic media call out Francis’ errors. Especially this grave error. For it is gaining traction:

    Many souls will be lead into damnation.

    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has supported Pope Francis’ statement suggesting artificial contraception can be used by women threatened by the Zika virus.

    CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas said ” “Once more, the Pope has shown his sensitivity to complex human situations, allowed the world see the merciful face of the Church — the sacrament of a Merciful Lord — as he has remained the faithful steward of the message of the Gospel.”

    First it was save the whales and the trees (Laudato Si). Then it was “We are all one” and ecumenism of blood. Now it’s artificial contraception in case of a virus. This is diabolical.

    If in fact Paul VI actually gave permission, it would speak volumes about the efficacy and/or the intent of the Vatican II “canonizations.”

    • I totally agree with you, like you said the damage is done if the CBCP President endorse the Holy Father’s position. And you mentioned traditional Catholic media should say something about Francis’ error I don’t think that is enough at all, just how many people would read The Remnant, Catholic Family News, AkaCatholic etc? Probably less than 10,000 combined. I think other mainstream (or Neo Catholic) Catholic media like EWTN, Catholic Register should say something too because allowing contraception would cross their moral bottom line too. But even if they say something they would not mention Francis’ name.

  40. That’s just awful for the pope to even say such a thing. I can’t believe Pius VI approved of a contraceptive for nuns in case of rape. That is not catholic teaching to approve of contraceptives because it is the willful killing of the child inside you that is or could be developing. This is scandalous to all Catholics and gives the non-Catholics an incorrect/wrong view of what Catholicism should be.

    Can’t we just get the nuns protection? Aren’t nuns supposed to go out in public in groups for this very reason? Teach the nuns self defense…give them knives/guns and teach them how to use them. Or move their convent to a safer location. Just because they are nuns doesn’t mean they should be weak and not know how to protect themselves. There are other alternatives than contraception.

    • Will a good father allow his precious daughters to take contraceptives in danger of rape? If the answer is no, what kind of fathers are Pope Francis and Pope Paul VI [as quoted by Pope Francis in this matter]?


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popular on OnePeterFive

Share to...