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Parental decision

Parents can judge their own situation best – in all its material, psychological and social dimensions. They should follow their own consciences in deciding whether to use artificial birth control or not.

Vatican Council II

At this Council (1962-1965) the Pope and all the Catholic bishops of the world affirmed the primacy of personal conscience.

“It is through conscience that human beings see and recognize the demands of the divine law. They are bound to follow their conscience faithfully in everything they do . . . No one may be forced to act against conscience.”
Religious Liberty § 3.

When Pope Paul VI in 1968 repeated the traditional prohibition of using artificial birth control, many Bishops’ Conferences responded with care. They reminded their faithful that, after studying the Pope’s injunction, each person has the right and duty to follow his/her own conscience. Among them were the Bishops’ Conferences of Austria, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, West Germany and others.