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[Photo: Pope Francis meets with the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Credit: Vatican Media)]

By Janet E. Smith, Crisis Magazine, Sept. 7, 2022

Janet E. Smith, Ph.D., is a retired professor of moral theology.

The exceedingly long book on life issues recently published by the Pontifical Academy for LifeTheological Ethics of Life (Vatican Publishing House, 2022; 517 pages) (TEL), maintains that on occasion contraception is a moral choice. What many miss is that this view is not the outgrowth of a new understanding of the nature of the conjugal act or a rejection of the teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil.

In the document, there is no engagement with any of the standard arguments put forward against contraception, either in Humanae Vitae itself or present in the theological literature defending Humanae Vitae. In a marvelous piece about the book, Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Stephan Kampowski note: …

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