Bishop in Austin discuses Pope's controversial comments about family size

Pope Francis is back in the spotlight after making some controversial statements Monday.

The Pope told the media that responsible parenting sometimes means limiting family size.

"I'm sure that some of the things when he speaks are going to be a little bit controversial," said Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Diocese of Austin.

During a flight on the Papal Jet, the Pope talked about meeting a woman who was pregnant with her eighth child. The woman was planning to have her eighth Cesarean section. The Pope said the woman was being irresponsible because God gives us natural ways to regulate the number of children we have.

"Some think that, excuse me if I use that word, that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No we need responsible parenthood. That is clear," said Pope Francis.

"His statement about not procreating like rabbits is a pretty intense one and I think Pope Francis knows what to do to get our ears burning," said Catholic Church Member Christopher Dowling.

Bishop Vasquez said the Pope's idea of responsible parenthood may have sounded more controversial than it is.

"So he made that comment, which was really striking, but I think what he was trying to say there is, 'There has to be this responsibility of raising children. We can't just have children and not really care for them,'" said Vasquez.

The Pope continues to dismiss the idea of artificial birth control and instead said Catholics should regulate childbirth naturally.

"Contraceptives go contrary to what God has in store for us. So using artificial contraception to stop birth goes contrary to what God wants," said Vasquez.

Dowling said he thinks the Pope's comments were not meant as guidelines or regulations, but rather for Catholics to consider options besides artificial birth control.

"I think that option would be what he calls, 'natural family planning' and the church's reference to the idea that it's possible to limit your family if that's the best way to love your children and the best way to love your spouse," said Dowling.

Pope Francis recently made a call to the Diocese of Austin. Wednesday morning Diocese of Austin Bishop Joe Vasquez announced the appointment of an auxiliary bishop. Daniel Garcia is the first auxiliary bishop in the history of the Diocese of Austin. Bishop Vasquez said the appointment was needed because the Catholic Church has grown so much in Central Texas.

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