In a homily given to a congregation of more than 100,000 in March 5, 1983, Pope John Paul II told Panamanian families to strengthen their families and avoid practices that undermine them (see story by Barbara Ernster on this page).

Beloved husbands and wives: renew in this Eucharist your promise of mutual fidelity. … The authentic Christian, even at the risk of becoming a “sign that is opposed,” must be able to carry out well the practices chosen in conformity with his faith. For this reason, he will have to say no to unions which are not sanctified by marriage and to divorce; he will say no to sterilization, above all if it is imposed upon any person or ethnic group for deceptive reasons; he will say no to contraception and he will say no to the crime of abortion, which kills innocent beings.