In his press conference on January 19 during the flight after completing his Philippine tour, Pope Francis while supporting Blessed Paul VI's teaching said that the responsible parenthood by good Catholics did not require them to breed like rabbits.
He stressed the need for the sacrament of matrimony and openness to life while replying to the questions on population growth and birth control.
Pope Francis reiterated the need of responsible parenthood by using the metaphor that being good Catholic was not behaving like rabbits to breed many offspring rather to make use of the natural rhythms immanent in the generative functions, while appreciating the words of Paul VI in support of Church teaching on sexuality and openness to life. In his reply on question of population control, he opposed the methods of artificial birth control.
It is well known now that the Church has propounded certain fundamental principles that concern marriage and procreation that subscribes to the view that key message of Humanae vitae is love. According to the Church, the fullness of a person is achieved by a unity of soul and body, but neither spirit nor body alone can love, only the two together. If this unity is broken, if only the body is satisfied, love becomes a commodity, it says further.
It would be pertinent to mention here that the Humanae vitae to which the present Pope subscribes for is an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI to re-affirms the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding married love, responsible parenthood, and the continued rejection of most forms of birth control.
However, the rabbit breeders in many countries have found the rabbit analogy of the Pope inappropriate, irksome and misleading to explain the need for responsible parenthood and natural methods of birth control.