Religion and Contraception in Comparative Perspective—Switzerland, 1950–1970

  • Caroline Rusterholz
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


This chapter analyses the changes in the position of the Catholic authorities on birth control and the laity’s initiatives to spread information on this issue before and after the publication of Humanae Vitae in two neighbouring cantons of French-speaking Switzerland belonging to the same diocese, Catholic Fribourg and Protestant Vaud. By exploiting pastoral letters, bishops’ discourses, parish journals, and laity letters sent to Bishop Monsignor Charrière, the differences resulting from demographics and the interdenominational context in the framing and formulation of dissent are illuminated. Even within the same national and linguistic context, the Fribourg Catholic clergy and laity were less vocal in their opposition to the encyclical than their Lausanne counterparts in a Protestant canton.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Rusterholz
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck UniversityLondonUK

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