Pope defends church teaching against birth control

2015-01-16 20:30
Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he arrives for a meeting with families at a mall in Manila, The Philippines. (Joseph Agcaoili, AFP)

Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he arrives for a meeting with families at a mall in Manila, The Philippines. (Joseph Agcaoili, AFP)

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Manila - Pope Francis has issued his strongest defence yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception, using a rally in Asia's largest Catholic nation, the Philippines, to urge families to be "sanctuaries of respect for life”.

Francis deviated from his prepared remarks to praise Pope Paul VI for having "courageously" resisted calls for an opening in church teaching on sexuality.

Paul penned the 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae" which enshrined the church's opposition to artificial birth control.

Francis noted that Paul was aware that some families would find it difficult to uphold the teaching and "he asked confessors to be particularly compassionate and understandable for particular cases”.

But he said, "What a gift this would be to society if every Christian family lived fully its noble vocation."

Read more on:    pope francis  |  vatican city  |  phillipines  |  religion

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