During that time there was much lobbying, even among Churchmen, to accept artificial means of contraception. Cardinal Leo Suenens asked on Oct. 29, 1964 for an opening to artificial birth control, and his opinion was backed by many participants of the Second Vatican Council.
In April 1967, a document favorable toward the birth control pill was published simultaneously in the French newspaper “Le Monde,” the English magazine “The Tablet,” and the American magazine “National Catholic Reporter.”
The leaked report stressed that 70 members of the Pontifical Commission were favorable to the pill; but the document was in fact “just one of the 12 reports presented to the Holy Father,” Bernardo Colombo, a professor of demographics and a member of the commission, revealed in an article he wrote in Teologia, the journal of the theological faculty of Milan and Northern Italy.
The same report which had been leaked to the media was sent to Bl. Paul VI, and it was divided into two parts: the opinion of the majority, supporting artificial contraception, and the minority report, arguing for the maintenance of traditional Catholic teaching.
Fr. di Felice told CNA that “Paul VI took these two documents, one from the majority and the other from the minority. He brought them to his private chapel, and spent the entire night in prayer asking what he should do for the good of souls.”
“Then, in the first light of dawn, a strong decision came to him like an illumination, as if the Holy Spirit was comforting him, and he said, ‘This is what I should choose!’”—CNA