Argentine nun claims Pope Francis advocates for use of contraceptives in some cases

A nun from Argentina has claimed in a radio interview that Pope Francis advocates for the use of contraceptives. Sr. Martha Pelloni, who is a Carmelite, revealed that the pope specifically enumerated three types of artificial contraception that can be used in some cases.

(Reuters/Giampiero Sposito)Pope Francis speaks as he leads a mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

In an interview with Cronica Anunciada, Pelloni said that she discussed the plight of poor women in Argentina with the pope. She explained that some of these women don't want to have more children or don't want to struggle with issues about abortion.

Pelloni said that in advocating for responsible parenthood among poor Argentine women, the pope told her that condom use might be permissible in this case, along with transitory and reversible procedures, such as using a diaphragm or going through tubal ligation. The nun, however, clarified that these contraceptives are a last resort only since other methods, such as sex education and the proper care for women in impoverish communities, must still be prioritized.

"If there is sex education and state responsibility to care for women in poverty, we do not need to decriminalize abortion because it will not be necessary to have an abortion," Pelloni said.

For the Catholic Church, the acceptable contraception includes just two methods: abstinence or the rhythm method.

In 2016, Pope Francis hinted, however, that avoiding pregnancy with the use of contraceptives is "not an absolute evil," but His Holiness said the statement in response to a question from reporters about the spread of the Zika virus. He said that his predecessor Blessed Paul VI also allowed the use of contraception among nuns working in Africa so that they would not get pregnant, especially since threats of rape is high in the region.

The Vatican, however, has not confirmed nor denied whether the pope actually spoke and told Pelloni, a famous and influential feminist nun in her home country, about condoms, diaphragm or tubal ligation.