Rome Newsroom, May 2, 2023 / 08:30 am
Pope Francis has praised the Billings method of natural family planning as “a valuable tool” for married couples that also provides needed education about the meaning of the conjugal act.
“In the second half of the last century, as pharmacological research for fertility control expanded and the contraceptive culture was on the rise, John and Evelyn Billings conducted careful scientific research and developed a simple method, accessible to women and couples, for natural knowledge of fertility, offering them a valuable tool for the responsible management of procreative choices,” the pope said in an April 28 message to a conference on the Billings method.
“In those years, their approach might have appeared outdated and less reliable in comparison with the purported immediacy and security of pharmacological interventions,” he added. “Yet in fact, their method has continued to prove timely and challenging.”
Francis said the Billings method of natural family planning has spurred “a serious reflection” on “the need for education in the value of the human body, an integrated and integral vision of human sexuality, an ability to cherish the fruitfulness of love even when not fertile, the building up of a culture that welcomes life and ways to confront the problem of demographic collapse.”