Religion: Calling for Contraception

A worldwide assembly of Roman Catholic laymen last week urged the Pope to let Catholic couples decide for themselves whether or not to practice birth control.

What made the recommendation something of a surprise was the nature of the group that proposed it: the Third World Congress of the Lay Apostolate in Rome, most of whose 2,900 participants are Establishment Catholics closely associated with ecclesiastical affairs. Even more striking was the fact that the plea closely followed upon a stern papal warning to the laity against seeking too ambitious a role in governing the church. Preaching at a Mass for the congress...

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