Google translate from interview
"Interviewer: Many Catholics, but also many theologians, believe that there is a need for a development in the doctrine of the Church regarding contraceptives. It would seem that even his predecessor, John Paul I, thought that a total ban might need reconsideration. What do you think about it, in the sense: is it open, in short, to a revaluation in this sense? Or …More
Google translate from interview
"Interviewer: Many Catholics, but also many theologians, believe that there is a need for a development in the doctrine of the Church regarding contraceptives. It would seem that even his predecessor, John Paul I, thought that a total ban might need reconsideration. What do you think about it, in the sense: is it open, in short, to a revaluation in this sense? Or is there a chance for a couple to consider birth control?
Francis: This is a very timely thing. But know that dogma, morality, is always on a path of development, but in a development in the same sense. To use something that is clear, I think I have said it other times here: for the theological development of a moral or dogmatic question, there is a rule that is very clear and illuminates. This is what Vincenzo di Lerins did in the 10th century more or less. He says that the true doctrine in order to move forward, to develop, must not be quiet, it develops ut annis consolidetur, dilatetur tempore, sublimetur aetate. That is, it consolidates over time, expands and consolidates and becomes firmer but always progressing. This is why the duty of theologians is research, theological reflection, you cannot do theology with a "no" in front of you. Then it will be the Magisterium a say no, you have gone further, come back, but the theological development must be open, theologians (there) are for this. And the Magisterium must help to understand the limits. On the contraceptive issue, I know that a publication has come out on this issue and on other marriage issues. These are the proceedings of a congress and in a congress there are ponenze, then they discuss among themselves and make proposals. We must be clear: those who held this congress did their duty, because they tried to go forward in the doctrine, but in the ecclesial sense, not outside, as I said with that rule of St. Vincent of Lerins. Then the Magisterium will say, yes it is good or not good. But so many things are called. Think for example of atomic weapons: today I officially declared that the use and possession of atomic weapons is immoral. Think of the death penalty: today I can say that we are close to immorality there, because the moral conscience has developed well. To be clear: when the dogma or morality develops, it is fine, but in that direction, with the three rules of Vincenzo di Lerins. I think this is very clear: a Church that does not develop its thinking in an ecclesial sense is a Church that goes backwards, and this is the problem of today, of many who say they are traditional. No, no, they are not traditional, they are "backward", they go backwards, without roots: it has always been done this way, in the last century it has been done this way. And the "retreat" is a shame because it does not go forward with the Church. Instead, tradition said someone - I think I said it in one of the speeches - tradition is the living faith of the dead, while these "backward" who say they are traditionalists, it is the dead faith of the living. Tradition is precisely the root, the inspiration to move forward in the Church, and this is always vertical. And "backwardness" means going backwards, it is always closed. It is important to understand well the role of tradition, which is always open, like the roots of the tree, and the tree grows ... A musician had a very beautiful phrase: Gustav Mahler, he said that tradition in this sense is the guarantee of the future, it is not a museum piece. If you conceive the closed tradition, this is not the Christian tradition… it is always the juice of the roots that carries you forward, forward, forward. For this, for what you say, think and carry on faith and morals, but while it goes in the direction of the roots, of the juice, it's okay. With these three rules of Vincenzo di Lerins that I have mentioned."