Pope Francis doesn’t want members of the Catholic faith to feel they have to “breed like rabbits” because of the church’s contraception ban. Instead, he suggested natural family planning strategies. Francis discussed the issue during an hour-long news conference aboard a plane from Manila to Rome at the end of a week-long trip to Asia Monday.
This isn’t the first time the pope has used what some may consider unusually straightforward language to make a point. He also noted he almost kicked two government bureaucrats “where the sun doesn’t shine” in his homeland of Argentina in 1994 when they attempted to draw him into a kickback plan.
Later this year, Pope Francis plans to visit Uganda, Central African Republic, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and the United States. He also confirmed he will be visiting the U.S. cities of Washington, Philadelphia and New York.
Francis delved into the issues of birth control and population in the Philippines, where the local church is currently battling a government law allowing easy access to birth control methods.
"Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits -- but no," the pope told Reuters, saying members of the church are capable of "responsible parenthood."
Pope Francis said there are many ways the 1.2 billion members of the Roman Catholic Church could practice family planning besides birth control.
Currently, the Catholic church only approves natural methods of birth control, focusing on abstinence from sexual intercourse during a woman’s ovulation period. In the Philippines and Sri Lanka, Francis criticized what he called an “ideological colonization” that attacked family values in developing countries.
However, the pope also openly condemned wealthier countries and international organizations that influence lifestyles and morals of young people in poorer countries, likening their activity to that of Nazis and other fascists."This is ideological colonization. They colonize people with ideas that try to change mentalities or structures," he said. "But this is not new. This was done by the dictatorships of the last century.”