Instructions from Catholic Bishops of Rwanda to priests, consecrated people and faithful laities on family planning methods
  • All Catholic health facilities must integrate natural family planning into their priority activities and take the appropriate measures to set up an ad hoc specific and operational service, identifiable by a sign that is clearly visible at the door. In addition, among the staff of the Health Center, there must be a permanent staff member with the natural family planning services in their specifications. The incumbent has, in his obligations, the effective promotion of natural family planning in the Health Training for which he is responsible
  • Each diocese will look for ways and means to support continuing education programs for natural family planning workers. This work is entrusted to Caritas which will ensure the general supervision, the research of the didactic material as well as the synthesis of the reports of activities
  • In all our health facilities, planned family planning activities will involve the implementation of the EAB (Education, Abstinence and Faithfulness) strategies: methods already recognized by the Government and included in its national health policy. Natural family planning, prevention of unwanted pregnancies and the fight against HIV / AIDS. This is how the Catholic Church contributes in the implementation of this National Policy of Family Planning.
  • Staff working in Catholic Health training centers must respect the teaching of the Church regarding the health care to be provided. It must promote a healthy conception of human sexuality and refrain from receiving abortifacients or contraceptives, such as condoms or others, in Catholic Church Hospitals and Health Centers. However, concerning target group education and counseling, it is legitimate, for reasons of professional ethics, to provide accurate and sufficient information on all methods of family planning, including methods of artificial, but clearly recalling that our approved Catholic Health Facilities (FOSA) do not provide any service of these artificial methods. It should, however, always be borne in mind that “the Church does not consider it unlawful to use the therapeutic means really necessary to cure diseases of the organism, even though it is expected that this will result in prohibition to procreation, provided that this prohibition is not, for any reason directly desired “
  • Where a Catholic Health Unit would have opened a health post to facilitate access to health care for patients who live far away from the Health Center, this health post must remain distinct from what is now called ” Secondary Positions “, created by the Public Administration in the vicinity of our Health Training center to be able to bring to the reach of everyone condoms and other artificial means of contraception. We declare that these secondary positions only look at the agents appointed by the Public Administration for this service.
  • We ask that the “Natural Family Planning Project” be a business of all our Christians; priests, catechists, health workers and other apostolic workers are invited to invest in raising the awareness of the population at all levels through the parishes. Parish priests will invite family planning service agents to share testimonials to target groups, even in parishes where there are no Catholic health facilities
  • Caritas and the Family Action Service must continue to strengthen their collaboration at all levels for the effective implementation of natural family planning. The reports of natural family planning activities carried out at the parish level by the Family Action service will be sent to the Health Training for compilation at the SIS report level to be sent to the competent authorities. In a parish where there is no Catholic Health Training, the report of the activities of Natural Family Planning will be sent to the Caritas Diocesan Medical Coordination which will also transmit it to those who are entitled to it.
  • With regard to the contribution of the Church in the fight against HIV / AIDS, we refer you to the document of 13 February 2007 “Imyanzuro y’Inama ya kane y’abanyamadini ku ruhare bafite mu kuboneza urubyaro no kurwanya SIDA” ( Resolutions of the fourth conference of religious denominations on the role of religious denominations in family planning and the fight against HIV / AIDS

These are some instructions that the Episcopal Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda found useful to communicate about Natural family planning, and which should serve as reference in any case where the need is felt, the document concludes.


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