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Catholics Seen Joining Jews, Protestants on Controlling Births

A University of Notre Dame theologian expressed the belief today that American Catholics, Protestant and Jews were “in substantial agreement” on principles for aiding in solution of the world’s swiftly expanding population problem.

The opinion was contained in an article by the Rev. John A. O’Brien, which appeared simultaneously in Ave Maria, a leading Catholic publication published by the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and the Christian Century, a leading Protestant weekly.

Father O’Brien, co-chairman of the Commission on Religious Organizations of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, said the tri-faith area of agreement covered “the prudent regulation of births and the clear consciousness of the responsibilities they entail, which is but another name for family planning.” He wrote that he felt there was “well-founded hope for the cooperative action so desperately needed to solve this problem on both the national and international level.”

He asserted that Protestant, Catholics and Jews “can work together, with each group following its conscience, to achieve the same important goal.” Father O’Brien, alluding to the widespread belief that the Catholic church opposes most effective means of birth regulation, contended that “contrary to widespread belief, the Catholic church does not forbid birth regulation.”

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