The World's Population Situation

The article "Brazilians Face Population Dilemma," July 8, misrepresents the Catholic Church's position on family planning. Along with quoting Paul Burgess's mistaken assertion that "the hierarchy and the bishops in Rome" are against family planning, the article states that a "papal encyclical bans modern methods of birth control" and that "official church policy ... still strictly forbids fertility control." Church teaching is opposed to artificial means of birth control but permits some natural methods,

which, according to a World Health organization study, have an effectiveness at least as high as any other method. Michael M. Gorman, Amherst, N.Y., Department of Philosophy, State University of New York at Buffalo

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