End ‘contraceptive mentality,’ Filipinos urged on 50th year of Humanae Vitae

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FILIPINOS were urged to put an end to the “contraceptive mentality” in the country as the Catholic Church marked the 50th anniversary of its primary teaching on contraception, “Humanae Vitae.”

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in a pastoral exhortation last week, said the negative view on having big families encourages the spread of the mentality, which Blessed Paul VI sought to combat in his papal encyclical.

They said it was “natural for married Filipino couples to wholeheartedly embrace each child” and that having a big family shouldn’t hinder them from doing so.

“If family planning is simply reduced to the avoidance of pregnancy, should we be puzzled when some children feel that they are fruits of “unwanted pregnancies”? Won’t they feel that their parents love them simply because they have no choice?” the CBCP said.

The bishops said parents who worry about meeting the basic needs of their children are normal and are only exhibiting “responsible parenthood.”

“Responsible parenthood is not only reduced to the limiting of children. It is natural for parents to be responsible for their children. Moreover, family planning is not only about ‘method.’ Every family plans for their future,” it added.

The Church leaders also urged Filipinos to foster a culture that protects children and condemns abusers, saying that it is a parent’s natural responsibility to take care of his or her children and to prevent their exploitation.

“We are, therefore, challenged to intensify our efforts – in partnership with people of good will and institutions at the service of the common good – to foster a culture which protects children and not their abusers,” the exhortation read.

The bishops also called on dioceses and parishes to include child protection and assistance in their apostolate programs and to extend help to the victims of child exploitation.

Humanae Vitae, released on July 25, 1968, contains the Church’s teachings on conjugal love, responsible parenthood, and the rejection of artificial contraception.

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