on birth control
BY A ROME CORRESPONDENT
Pip PE PAUL said on Monday that birth control must be left to individual couples without interference from governments or international organisations such as the United Nations, and reaffirmed the Church's teaching that the use of artificial means to control births is illicit.
The Pope was speaking at a 25th anniversary meeting of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome. In words similar to those he used at the United Nations in New York in October, 1965, he said: "There is a great temptation to use one's authority to diminish the number of guests rather than to multiply the bread that is to be shared."
In an apparent reference to the United Nations Organisation, which supports birth control programmes in several countries through the U.N. World Health Organisation (WHO), the Pope added: "We are not all unaware of the opinions held in international organisations which extol planned birth control, which it is believed will bring a radical solution to the problem of developing countries."
Pope Paul said the Church called on responsible leaders to work "for the developments of the whole man and every man; this, among other effects, will undoubtedly favour a rational control of birth by
couples who arc capable of freely assuming their desttny.
The Pope reaffirmed the Church's opposition to artificial contraception by quoting Pope John XXIII's attack on "methods and means (of contraception) which are unworthy of man."
RATIONAL CONTROL His encyclical "Humanae Vitae" permits Catholics to practice birth control, provided they adhere to the rhythm method. The document also said the Church hoped scientists could perfect this method, and some Vatican sources said this may have been what the Pope was referring to when he spoke about a "rational control" of births.
He also made one of his strongest ever warnings about the dangers threatening the environment, whose progressive deterioration, he said, "risks prcivoking a veritable ecological catastrophe."
"Already we see the pollution of the air we breathe, the water we drink. we see the pollution of rivers, lakes, even oceans — to the point of inspiring fear of a true 'biological death' in the near future."
THE FLOWER He urged the Food and Agriculture Organisation to explore ways of saving from destruction "the flower of millions of years of natural and human selection.
In his 4,000 word address, the Pope also once again attacked expenditures on armaments and consumer luxury goods while so much of the world was unfed and un• housed.
It is a sad fate which weighs so heavily upon the human race," he said. "The poor and the rich are for once treading the same path of exaggerated nationalism. racism giving birth to hate, the lust for unlimited power, the unbridled thirst for domination."
He challenged rich and influential countries to break the spiral of increasing armaments, "ever more ruinous and vain." and become nations of a single brotherly -world instead of ideological enemies.
END THE SCANDAL
He also said he hoped the U.N. Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD) would end the "scandal" of rich countries buying the produce of poor nations at the lowest possible price while selling their own goods at the highest possible price.
"There is a whole economy, too often tainted by power, waste and fear, which must be transformed into an economy of service and brotherhood," he said.
FAO itself finances birth control programmes in several underdeveloped countries, including India and Egypt.
Birth control has been a constant element of friction in the Vatican's otherwise excellent relations with the United Nations Organisation and its specialised agencies.
New Abbot THE new Abbot of Belmont is Dom Jerome Bodkinson, 40, who has been prior at the Abbey for four years. He succeeds Dom Robert Rich• ardson, who died recently.