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In a message to participants in the WOOMB International Congress in Rome on the 70th anniversary of the Billings Ovulation Method, Pope Francis highlighted the method’s ongoing contribution to the understanding of human sexuality. Source: Vatican News.

The Pope called for a “new revolution” in today’s way of thinking about human sexuality, after the so-called sexual revolution and the breakdown of taboos in the 1960s, by refocusing on its strict connection with the fundamental vocation of each person which is the “gift of self”.

“We need to discover the beauty of human sexuality by once again turning 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,” the Pope wrote in a message addressed to participants at the Congress, hosted from 28-29 April by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome.

WOOMB is an international organisation founded in the 1970s to help spread the Billings Ovulation Method for natural family planning, which was pioneered in 1953 by Australian physicians John and Evelyn Billings as an alternative to artificial contraception. The method is endorsed by the Church, as well as being approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In his message to the Congress, titled “The ‘Billings revolution’ 70 years later: From Fertility Knowledge to Personalised Medicine”, the Pope noted that over the past seven decades, the Billings Method has continued to prove “timely and challenging, since it has led to serious reflection on a number of essential areas”. 

These include “the need for education in the value of the human body, an integrated and integral vision of human sexuality, an ability to cherish the fruitfulness of love even when not fertile, the building up of a culture that welcomes life and ways to confront the problem of demographic collapse”.

“The original momentum of what has been called the ‘Billings revolution’ has not diminished, but continues to contribute to the understanding of human sexuality and a fuller appreciation of the relational and procreative dimensions of the couple,” the Pope wrote.


Pope Francis upholds “Billings Revolution” (By Lisa Zengarini, Vatican News)