The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster says that he can understand why contraception is seen as an "attractive" means of tackling Third World poverty.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols however said that it was not the Church's role to add to calls for condom distribution, as it opposes contraception and believes it interferes with the creation of life.
Contraception has been seen by many aid agencies as an important way for women in developing nations to take control of fertility, but the Catholic Church regards any form of birth control, that might interfere with conception, as sinful.
The Church argues that all children should be welcomed as a gift from God.
Archbishop Nichols was asked how Catholic teaching could continue to discourage contraception in poorer parts of the world where the birth rate was rapidly rising.
"I think when it comes to Third World poverty and the great pressure under which many women are put by men, I can see the arguments, why, in the short term, [the] means that give women protection are attractive," the BBC WM quoted him as saying.
He went on to say that longer term solutions were needed, and as there were already plenty of "champions" of condoms, it was not the role of the Church to add its voice to those.
"If we solve the poverty, then consistently we know that the birth rate comes down," he said.
"If we provide people with security, then consistently birth rates will come down. And they're the radical issues that we should be addressing, not short-term intrusive fixes," he added.
The editor of Catholic publication The Tablet said there had been a "softening" of language from some senior clergy regarding contraception.
But Catherine Pepinster also told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was hard to tell if that would result in a change in policy.
She added, that there were some cardinals and theologians who said using a condom to prevent HIV, a situation when "you're concerned with preserving life and avoiding death... is a good thing".