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.