Conducted by Fr. JOHN SYMON
Question. Where in the scriptures can I find the quotation which forbids birth control?
S.K., Halifax, Yorkshire.
Answer. Quite simply, nowhere. No single scriptural quotation can be advanced as clearly forbidding birth control. Not only is this true in the present state of scholarship, but, whatever surprises the future may hold in store, it seems a safe bet that. at least on this topic, no other view will emerge. Of course, to say that no single quotation from the Bible forbids contraception means precisely what it says. It does not exclude the view that the teaching of Humanae Vitae is based on a biblical perspective of life, still less does it mean that the Church has no right to speak out on the matter, The lack of any obvious scriptural evidence seemed to be implicitly acknowledged by the Holy Father when, in last year's encyclical, he adopted a rather different approach from that used in 1930 by Pope Pius XI. In the earlier encyclical, Cast! Contrubii, Pope Pius had argued principally on a basis of natural law and secondarily on the grounds both of the scriptures and of the Church's past teaching. By contrast, Pope Paul rests his position firmly on the constant traditional teaching of the Church and, while also alluding ever so briefly to the idea of natural law, on the precise point of contraception he does not