Bishop’s birth control remark sparks debate

Idukki: Even as the call by bishop Mar Mathew Anikuzhikattil of Idukki diocese of Roman Catholic Church to boycott artificial birth control methods sparked protests from various people in the region as well as on the social media, the church has come out supporting the bishop’s views.

“One should not forget the fact that the basic purpose of marriage is to bear and raise children,” said Fr. Jose Karivelikal, PRO of Idukki diocese said.

In his Christmas message, bishop Mar Mathew Anikuzhikkatil said couples who opt for artificial birth control methods were acting against God’s will.

The pastoral letter, which will be read at all churches under the diocese next Sunday said even during the time of migration to the hill state, when there was poverty all around, families did not think ofopting for birth control methods.

Children are God’s gifts and a fulfilment of God’s promise. But many families, which have opted to throw away the gifts are now living in misery, bishop Mar Mathew Anikuzhikatti said in the letter, The Times of India reported.

However, a priest has hit out at the bishop over his comments against birth control.

In a Facebook post, Jijo Kurian said: “India has now over 20 million orphan children.

Let us first give a life to these children and then think about giving birth to other children. The exploitation of natural resources has increased manifold due to population explosion. One need not increase population in order to spread faith.”

Standing by the bishop, the church PRO, however,said: “There is nothing controversial in the bishop’s words. The church do not allow artificial birth control methods.”

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3 thoughts on “Bishop’s birth control remark sparks debate

  1. The primary purpose of sexual union is the expression and sustenance of love. They are no longer two but one. Paul speaks also eloquently in 1Cor 7, etc. about it. The first part of Canon 1055:1 says the same. A child MAY BE born out of that act, but not necessarily. If this understanding is clear, then our focus would change. I think a good interpretation scripturally, theologically, sociologically and finally pastorally is required for Indian context, I think.

  2. As a matter of fact, birth control in general and among Catholics in particular calls for a full-fledged debate.

  3. It is incorrect to state that the primary goal of marriage is procreation.Canon 1055:1 very clearly states that marriage is”ordered to the well being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children”. Hence primacy is now given to companionship and not to procreation. Secondly procreation also entails the upbringing of children. They cannot just be left to their fate in abject poverty.
    The statement that there are 20 million orphans in India is also unfounded. That is more than the Catholic population of India! There is a long waiting list for adoption by prospective parents in India. Demand exceeds supply, to use a purely commercial term!
    A docile Catholic laity will not openly challenge the bishops, but will quietly disregard such statements that serve no purpose other than alienating an already disgruntled laity.

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