Synod14: Brazilian Spouses Call on Pope To Clarify Contraception Confusion

Say Church’s Advice on Birth Control Is «Contradictory,» Appeal to Humanae Vitae

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A married couple from Brazil have stressed to Pope Francis and delegates of the Synod of Bishops on the family gathered at the Vatican, Oct. 5-19, that the Church should stop giving “contradictory advice” on birth control and help Catholics obey Church teaching against contraception.

At a Thursday morning session on the “Pastoral Challenges Concerning an Openness to Life,” Brazilians, Arturo and Hermelinda Zamberline gave a testimony on contraception. They concluded by calling on the Holy Father and the synod to help Catholics understand and obey Humanae Vitae, Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical that affirmed Church teaching against birth control, reported CNS.

The couple, who have been married 41 years with three children, are also country leaders of “Teams of Our Lady,” an international Catholic movement.

Saying that «often, contradictory advice only aggravates their confusion,» they noted: «If couples, as well as clergy, could at least find illumination and support, that would already be a great encouragement.» 

«We ask, may the magisterium hasten to give priests and faithful the major lines of a pastoral teaching programme to help people adopt and observe the principles laid out in ‘Humanae Vitae,’” the Zamberlines said.

«Without fear,» they stressed, “we must admit that many Catholic couples, even those who seek to live their marriage seriously, do not feel obligated to use only the natural methods” of birth control acceptable to the Church.

Participating in the synod as non-voting auditors, the spouses spoke on how the fast pace of life nowadays makes it more challenging to find time to learn natural methods of family planning.

Only because such natural methods are not being explained badly and poorly practiced is why they have be given this “unjust reputation” of being “unreliable,” “inefficient” and “unsafe,” they explained.

They added that married couples, in the great majority, do not reject the use of other contraceptive means, generally not considering them «a moral problem.”

One of the three synod president’s, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, said it is necessary to encourage a «mentality of openness to life to thwart the contraceptive mentality and the spread of an individualist anthropological model” that, he said, in certain countries, “has led to a strong demographic drop whose social and human consequences are not sufficiently considered today.”


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Full Text of Spouses’ Testimony:

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