November 10, 1996 in Nation/World

Pope Calls Contraceptives A Form Of ‘Hedonism’

Associated Press

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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