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KIGALI, Rwanda (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholic-run hospitals and health facilities in the country of Rwanda are no longer offering artificial contraceptives.
The Catholic Church's 115 health centers in Rwanda are now all banning the dispensing of contraception. Bishop Philip Rukamba, head of the Butare diocese and president of the Bishops' Conference, reaffirmed that the Catholic Church considers artificial contraceptives immoral and is instructing that Catholics not use them.
He also says the Church accepts the existence of family planning in certain situations and that it was possible, but through only natural methods.
"The Church encourages use of 'natural' contraceptive methods," he explained. "The system starts from knowing the fertility period of a woman and also of respect between a husband and a wife so that they cannot give birth to children they do not wish."
The bishop also highlighted that the Catholic Church had agreed with the government to ban birth control in all Catholic clinics and hospitals about five years ago. What made the issue come up again was that some people who went to the medical centers seeking artificial contraceptives and did not get them started complaining.
Bishop Rukamba noted that "the Bible tells us that God told us to give birth and proliferate, but did not tell us how many one has to give birth to. Giving birth should also go in tandem with availability of resources."
In issuing "Humanae Vitae," Pope Paul VI was clear on the Catholic Church's position regarding birth control, condemning all sexual acts that frustrate the procreative purpose of the conjugal act. Pope Paul VI also confirmed longstanding Church teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil.
Nor are those considered as acting against nature who in the married state use their right in the proper manner although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider so long as they are subordinated to the primary end and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.