Search icon


20th Jan 2015

Catholic? No need to be at it “like rabbits”, says Pope

The Pope encouraged natural contraceptive methods

The Pope has raised eyebrows for the second time this month after he advised his flock to be more responsible in creating new life.

Speaking to a group of journalists on a flight returning from the Philippines, Pope Francis brought up the subject of large families:

“Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits — but no,” he said.

The plain speaking pontiff referred to a Filipina woman who he had apparently chastised after she admitted she risked her life to give birth to her eighth child by C-section: “That is an irresponsibility!” he said. “God gives you methods to be responsible.”

The 78-year-old Argentine recommends couples use Church-approved contraceptive methods (abstinence during fertile periods) to plan parenthood.

Just last week, Pope Francis told mums during a baptism ceremony in the Sistine Chapel that they should feel free to breastfeed if their infants cried or were hungry, causing many women to question why they needed his blessing to feed their babies in the first place.