Vatican - Social development

Celibacy is required of all Roman Catholic clergy, except permanent deacons. The Church upholds the concept of family planning through such traditional methods as rhythm and abstinence but resolutely opposes such "artificial methods" as contraceptive pills and devices, as well as abortion and sterilization. Five important papal encyclicals— Rerum Novarum (1870), Quadragesimo Anno (1931), Mater et Magistra (1961), Pacem in Terris (1963), and Laborem Exercens (1981)—have enunciated the Church position on matters of workers' rights and social and international justice.

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