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Vatican-sponsored youth catechism: ambiguous on contraception?

Catholic World News - April 11, 2011

A catechism prepared for World Youth Day under the direction of the Vatican appears to suggest that Christian married couples should use contraceptives, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports.

The youth catechism, YouCat, will be released later this week, with translations in several different languages. World Youth Day organizers plan to distribute 700,000 copies to young people at the worldwide celebration in Madrid in August.

The catechism is laid out in a question and answer fashion. Question 420 in the Italian language edition asks:

Q. Puo una coppia christiana fare ricorso ai metodi anticoncezionali? (Can a Christian couple have recourse to contraceptive methods?)
A. Si, una coppia cristiana puo e deve essere responsabile nella sua facolta di poter donare la vita.(Yes, a Christian couple can and should be responsible in its faculty of being able to give life).

Vatican sources told CNA that the translation reflected the original German, which was prepared under the direction of Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. But actually the German version refers to a couple's regulating the number of their children; the Italian translation simplifies that phrase to "contraceptive methods," missing the crucial distinction between natural and artificial forms of regulating birth. The English-language version of YouCat, which will be published by Ignatius Press, does not contain the same problematical language.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Obregon - Apr. 12, 2011 12:24 AM ET USA

    Does anyone actually believe this "mistake" was an accident? I don't think so, it is one more example of dissenting church authorities going over the authority of the Pope to "subtly" contradict the Church's moral teaching. Pope Paul VI must be turning in his grave!

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Apr. 11, 2011 11:48 PM ET USA

    Say what? How nuts is that? The Italian translators can't translate German and the Vatican can't proof-read Italian. Can you blame Catholics for being so confused?

  • Posted by: BobJ70777069 - Apr. 11, 2011 10:43 PM ET USA

    Has Diogenes retired? He's missed.

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