While presenting their research paper on ‘Openness of Married couples to life’ in ‘Challenges to family life’ session, Mrs.& Mr. Valentine Coelho conveyed that to commit to the vows on one’s wedding day is to accept the whole personhood of his/her spouse and to give them one’s entire self in return. They were addressing the intellectual crowd gathered at Animation Renewal Centre (ARC), Panvel, for “EVA- Global Symposium on Life”, organized by the Eparchy of Kalyan to promote the culture of life. They highlighted that the Catholic Church teaches that contraception is wrong because it places a condition on the covenant made with God and one’s spouse; a condition that says, “I accept all of you, except your fertility.”

Mr. Coelho remarked that “The Church has no specific teaching about an ideal family size. On the one hand, as indicated previously, couples may take many factors into consideration and on the other hand, there is a general Christian warning against decision-making based solely on materialistic factors. Life is a gift to be shared and the Christian couple are called to be generous in the service of life according to their circumstances. In fact, till about a few decades back large families were a significant mark of good Catholic families.” Further, he reflected on CCC2373 which says, “Sacred Scripture and the Church’s traditional practice see in large families a sign of God’s blessing and the parents’ generosity.” In fact, St. Pope John Paul II reiterates why it is good to have large families when he declared that “decisions about the number of children and the sacrifices to be made for them must not be taken only with a view of adding comfort and preserving a peaceful existence.””

Mr. Coelho concluded the presentation by reminding that the Church is a loving Mother who wants only the good of her children while acknowledging that there may be good reasons why a couple may want to limit the size of their family, she recommends the use of methods that do not violate marital chastity. They also highlighted that the couple is always accountable to God alone, Christians need to heed the voice of their Lord and Master.