Philippine Catholic Church may re-evaluate contraceptive stance after Pope Francis says ‘avoiding pregnancy not absolute evil’ 

Health workers show the proper use of a condom during a family planning session held in an NGO clinic in Manila, Philippines.

Following Pope Francis’ controversial and apparently spur-of-the-moment suggestion that there may be circumstances in which married couples can use contraception, the Philippine Catholic Church wasted little time in signifying its willingness to modify its stance on birth control. Previously, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was a stern opponent of the reproductive health law that provides major government funding for contraceptives.

Things drastically changed last week when Pope Francis spoke to reporters onboard the papal plane returning to Rome from his pastoral visit to Mexico. In an off-the-cuff statement, the pope told the journalists that “avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil.”

CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas quickly issued a statement based on the pope’s remarks.

In his statement titled “Truth with Love and Mercy,” Villegas noted two important moral precepts that Pope Francis mentioned. “First, there may be circumstances that invite a re-evaluation of the judgment on artificial means of contraception; second, the prodding of conscience should always be heeded, as long as every effort is made to form conscience properly,” Villegas said.

Source: Christian Today

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