WelCom May 2023
Pope Francis has called for a ‘new revolution’ in today’s way of thinking human sexuality, by refocusing on its connection with the fundamental vocation of each person, which is the ‘gift of self’.
In a message to participants in the WOOMB International Congress Rome on the Billings Method, Pope Francis highlights its ongoing contribution to the understanding of human sexuality and to a fuller appreciation of the relational and procreative dimensions of the couple, saying use of methods based on the natural rhythms of fertility should be encouraged. The Congress was hosted by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, 28–29 April.
The Pope wrote, ‘We need to discover the beauty of human sexuality by once again turning to the great book of nature, learning to respect the value of the body and the generation of life, with a view to authentic experiences of conjugal love’.
WOOMB is a US-based organisation founded in the 1970s to help spread the Billings Ovulation Method for natural family planning, which was pioneered in 1953 by Australian physician John Billings and his wife Evelyn as an alternative to artificial contraception. This method is endorsed by the Catholic Church, and it is approved by the World Health Organisation.
Pope Francis noted over the past seven decades the Billings Method has continued to prove ‘timely and challenging, since it has led to serious reflection on a number of essential areas’.
These include ‘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’.
Citing Pope St Paul VI’s Encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968), Pope Francis reiterates the need to keep in mind ‘the inseparable connection the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act’ against the ‘relativistic and trivialised view of human sexuality’ prevailing today.
‘We are tending to lose sight of the connection between sexuality and the fundamental vocation of each person, the gift of self, which finds particular fulfilment in conjugal and family love.’
Hence the importance of educating young people on the truth of human sexuality as a genuine expression of self-giving.
Pope Francis also underscores the ‘pastoral value’ of promoting knowledge of fertility and natural methods in that they help ‘couples to be more conscious of their marital vocation and to bear witness to the Gospel values of human sexuality’.
Therefore, he concludes, ‘the use of methods based on the natural rhythms of fertility should be encouraged’.
Source: Vatican News
New Zealand Catholic Bishops support Billings Life NZ
The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference have given their support to a Billings Life NZ project promoting natural pregnancy planning and have encouraged parishes to include publicity about the project in their newsletters. Billings NZ is hoping to create enough interest to train Billings educators in each diocese and eventually each parish.
Achieving Pregnancy Naturally
The Billings Ovulation Method can help you to optimise your chances of conceiving naturally. Our Fertility Educators will teach you to recognise your body’s natural signs of fertility and pinpoint the most fertile day in your cycle. The Billings Ovulation Method is effective, non-invasive and affordable! And it is backed by over 50 years of medical research. For a free information leaflet, contact Billings LIFE NZ: 0800 693 378, email [email protected] or visit www.billingslife.org.nz
Billings in New Zealand comes under a registered charity, WOOMB NZ (World Organisation Ovulation Method Billings New Zealand).
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