Religion: Concerning Birth Control

The World Council of Churches marched straight into a longstanding moral controversy last week, appeared to come close to outright endorsement of artificial birth control.

The council, representing some 171 Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox denominations, emphasized that it was making no official decision. (Said one official: "We are no Vatican; we issue no edicts.") But in Geneva, the council secretariat authorized publication of a study group's report that reached a dramatic, clear-cut conclusion: "Limiting or spacing of children is a morally valid thesis . . . There appears to be no moral distinction between the means now known and practiced—whether by the...

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