Pope Francis on Birth Control: Can Church Teaching on Contraception Change?

“That is to say, it consolidates over time, it expands and consolidates, and becomes more stable, but it always ‘progresses’. This is why the duty of theologians is research, theological reflection. You cannot do theology with a ‘no’ in front of it… the magisterium will be the one who says no,” the pope added.

Francis also addressed the recent controversy over a book published by the Vatican publishing house, which dealt with “the possible legitimacy of contraception in certain cases.”

The book “Theological Ethics of Life: Scripture, Tradition and Practical Challenges” was a 528-page summary of a theological seminar sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2021.

Pope Francis said, “On the issue of contraception, I know there is a publication on this issue and other marriage issues.”

“These are the acts of a congress and in a congress there are hypotheses, then they discuss among themselves and make proposals. We must be clear: those who made this congress did their duty because they tried to advance in doctrine, but in an ecclesial sense, not outside of it, as I said with this rule of Saint Vincent de Lérins.

Regarding birth control, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “the legitimate intentions of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception)”.

Martha J. Finley