The Vatican

Pope says it is a mistake to create test-tube embryos and then dispose of them

The Pope addressed a message to the participants of the Congress "The Billings Revolution. 70 years later, of fertility knowledge and personalized medicine" that brings together hundreds of people at the University of Sacro Cuore.

Maria José Atienza-April 28, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes
newborn billings

Seven decades after Drs. John and Evelyn Billings unveiled their natural method of fertility recognition, this method continues to be "timely and stimulating". These are the words of Pope Francis in the message he addressed to teachers of natural methods, doctors, psychologists, students and others who, on April 28-29, gathered in Rome for a congress.

A conference to continue to deepen in medical-scientific issues, the value of knowledge, the worrying reality of the declining birth rate and infertility of the couple, as well as proposals and experiences on training and intercultural and interreligious dialogue.

Billings Method Update

In his message to them, the Pope emphasizes that the Billings method "could have seemed outdated and less reliable in comparison with the claimed immediacy and safety of pharmacological interventions. In fact, however, his method has continued to prove timely and stimulating, since it has led to serious reflection on a number of essential areas. These include the need to educate in the value of the human body, an integrated and integral vision of human sexuality, the ability to appreciate the fecundity of love even when it is not fertile, the construction of a culture that welcomes life, and ways of dealing with the problem of demographic collapse."

The Pope highlighted "the inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act", the central theme of the encyclical. Humanae vitae and affirmed that "when these two meanings are consciously affirmed, the generosity of love is born and strengthened in the hearts of the spouses, disposing them to welcome a new life. Without this, the experience of sexuality is impoverished, reduced to sensations that soon become self-referential."

No to "alternative ways" of having a child

"The Billing methods along with others like it, represents one of the most appropriate means to responsibly realize the desire to become parents" continues the Pope in the message in which the pontiff adds that "while it is appropriate legitimate desire to conceive with the most advanced scientific knowledge and technologies that can improve fertility, it is wrong to create test-tube embryos and then dispose of them, trade in gametes and resort to the practice of surrogate motherhood".

Pastoral value of fertility knowledge

The Pope praised the work of the Center for Studies and Research for the Natural Regulation of Fertility, which has been present since 1976 at the Catholic University of Sacred Heartemphasizing the pastoral value of knowledge of fertility and natural methods "as it helps couples to be more aware of their marital vocation and to witness to the Gospel values of human sexuality".

He also stressed the need for a true education in sexuality for young people and married couples "going back to the great book of nature, learning to respect the value of the body and the generation of life, with a view to authentic experiences of conjugal love".

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