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Rome Reports

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Billings Couple: How they found a method for responsible parenthood

In 1953, a young Australian doctor named John Billings began working with a Catholic priest to help couples to live an authentic approach to family planning. No natural method of birth control was reliable enough, leaving many couples at a crossroad. After years of research, John Billings and his wife developed one of the most effective methods in the world with an efficiency of almost 98 percent. ANGELO FRANCESCO FILARDO Gynecologist "He's a doctor who has spoken of God without naming him. That is, speaking about anatomy and physiology, he has been able to see the wonder and beauty of Creation." It was a discovery that completely respected the teachings of Paul VI's encyclical, Humanae Vitae, one of the papal reference documents on sexuality. For their studies on life and family, the necessary documentation is being collected in order to start the couple's beatification process. ANGELO FRANCESCO FILARDO Gynecologist "They are truly saints because they have spent their entire lives traveling the world to communicate this beauty, this wonder.� They traveled for half a century to places like Africa, China, Central America, Brazil and Pakistan, speaking about this method that was accessible, affordable, and risk-free for women. The Billings even came to India, where they worked with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In the 80's, when the government imposed a sterilization and abortion program, Mother Teresa asked them to teach the method to the sisters so they could explain it to the poor and prevent abusive government practices. John died in 2007, and his wife, Evelyn, in 2013. They were personal friends of three popes and throughout their lifetime, they received widespread recognition across the world. AC/MP AA -VM -PR up: IPC