PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 September, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 September, 1994, 12:00am

WHAT Francis Vrijmoed did not explain in his letter (South China Morning Post, September 6), is that the Catholic Church's stand on birth control is based entirely on the Vatican's interpretation of this single line in the Bible: 'Be fruitful and multiply.' During Vatican Council II, a group of Biblical scholars and priests argued that this statement could also be interpreted to mean that a married couple's sexual acts should be collectively fruitful, that is, as long as the couple was not childless, artificial means of birth control would be acceptable. They were, unfortunately, overruled and the church's original position has been upheld ever since.

As to Mr Vrijmoed's claim that the rhythm method of birth control is 'reliable', let me say that it is not nicknamed 'Vatican roulette' for nothing. The rhythm method requires a good understanding of the male and female reproductive systems, a predictable menstrual cycle, impeccable timing and good self control. Most overpopulation is linked to the poor and uneducated, few of whom would be candidates for this method.

Nor, for that matter, would many well-off and educated people. Finally, in response to Mr Vrijmoed's remark that use of a condom diminishes the pleasure of intercourse, let me say that most women derive far more pleasure from intercourse when the fear of unwanted impregnation is removed or greatly reduced.

M. D. BOESEL Mid-Levels