Vatican Might OK Contraception

An advisor close to Pope Francis has dropped hints that the Vatican may be close to allowing the use of contraception without eternal damnation (or whatever the penalty is.)

Cardinal Walter Kasper said it was “the responsibility of the parents” to decide how many children they should have. He also said that so-called natural family planning, which is promoted by the Church as an alternative to contraception, also has an “artificial” element. His comments in an interview with The Tablet, the Catholic weekly, are likely to reopen debate about one of the most contentious areas of Catholic teaching just weeks before a special global gathering of bishops in Rome to discuss the Church’s position on family matters. Cardinal Kasper is the leading proponent of moves to relax the ban on remarried divorcees receiving Holy Communion, arguing for a greater emphasis on “mercy” for individuals without abandoning the Church’s official teaching that marriage is for life. Pope Francis has openly praised a book the German prelate wrote on the subject and has pointedly made mercy the central theme of many of his public pronouncements in recent weeks. Cardinal Kasper set out his ideas in a speech to fellow cardinals earlier this year widely believed to have been delivered with the blessing of Pope Francis.

The plan is expected to be strongly opposed by a group of “conservative cardinals.”