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Pope Calls Contraceptives A Form Of ‘Hedonism’

Pope John Paul II urged Saturday that doctors pay more attention to “natural” family planning as an alternative to contraceptives, which he called a form of “hedonism.”

The Catholic church forbids the use of contraceptives, saying couples must rely on the so-called rhythm method if they want to space out their children’s births. The method requires abstention during a woman’s most fertile time each month.

The pope delivered his message on family planning in a statement to experts meeting at a Catholic hospital in Rome to discuss new ways to determine fertile periods.

Contraceptives increase “the wearing down of conscience and the eclipsing of values,” John Paul said.

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4 ex-presidents among hundreds at Barbara Bush’s funeral

UPDATED: 9:46 a.m.

Four former presidents joined ambassadors, sports stars and hundreds of other mourners on a gray, rainy Saturday at the private funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush, filling the nation’s largest Episcopal church a day after more than 6,000 people paid their respects to the woman known by many as “America’s matriarch.”