DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     September 28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 184

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican has emphatically rejected the message contained in a series of recent news reports, which had suggested that the Holy See was relenting in its opposition to UN family-planning programs that emphasize abortion and contraception.

        In a statement formally released on September 27, Joaquin Navarro- Valls-- the head of the Vatican press office-- remarked that "the Holy See has not changed its well-known position." Navarro-Valls used the occasion to underline the Vatican's opposition to the use of abortion, abortifacients, and artificial contraceptives as means of family planning.

        Last week Nafis Sadik, the head of the UN's Population Fund (UNFPA), had issued a public statement claiming that the Holy See was backing off its opposition to the UNFPA's efforts. Sadik made that remark in a September 22 report on the activities undertaken by her agency since the 1993 Cairo Conference.

        Navarro-Valls said that in accepting the report of the Cairo Conference, the Vatican had not endorsed the UNFPA's definition of certain controversial terms such as "contraception," "family planning," "reproductive rights," "female controlled methods," "the widest possible range of family planning services," "new options," and "under-utilized methods." The Holy See, he continued, would oppose any "'family planning' services which do not respect the freedom of the spouses, human dignity, and the human rights of the interested parties."

        Specifically, the Vatican spokesman continued, the Holy See would continue emphatically to oppose any family-planning campaign which includes abortion or "emergency contraception." He also said that the Vatican would continue to speak out against an approach to sexuality-- often found in the work of the UNFPA-- which is "inspired by a vision of sexuality which does not give due consideration to the dimension of reciprocity that is constituted by the expression of mutual love."

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

September 28, 1999       volume 10, no. 184


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