‘Pope Francis has urged us to have fewer children,’ claims Vatican academy member

‘Pope Francis has urged us to have fewer children,’ claims Vatican academy member

Jan Bentz

ROME, March 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — “Pope Francis has urged us to have fewer children to make the world more sustainable,” a panelist at a Vatican-run workshop on “how to save the natural world” stated on Thursday.

This solution to securing the world’s sustainability was presented by botanist and environmentalist Peter Raven during a press conference that concluded the “Biological Extinction” workshop that took place at the Vatican earlier this week.

Greg Burke, director of the Holy See Press Office, moderated a panel including Raven, President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) Werner Arber, University of Cambridge Professor Emeritus of Economics Partha Dasgupta, and PAS chancellor Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo.

“We do not endorse any of the artificial birth control [methods] that the Church does not endorse,” said Raven.

The Church condemns every method of artificial birth control. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil” since it destroys the unitive and procreative integrity of the marital act. The Church teaches that a married couple who wishes to postpone pregnancy for a “grave” reason may do so by not engaging in the marital act during the fertile period.

According to Raven, the central element of the solution for “overpopulation” is that “we need a more limited number of people in the world.” In addition, “the problem is one of inequality,” where the rich use more of the world’s resources than the poor.

“In the framework of social justice worldwide we need to find ways for natural resources to be distributed on the basis of compassion and love. We hope for support in our ongoing support for our endeavor to develop sustainability,” he said.

All four on the panel concurred that the survival of the planet is tightly linked to the number of people on the planet.

The Biological Extinction workshop drew particular controversy because it featured a paper by notorious pro-abortion population control advocate Dr. Paul Ehrlich. At the event Ehrlich, and co-author Dasgupta, said that the Catholic teaching of “responsible parenthood” in determining family size has “result[ed] in collective failure” in reducing the world’s population. The authors suggested that one way to stop the exhaustion of “humanity’s natural capital” is by imposing a system of “taxes and regulations” that would help modify “social norms of behaviour.”

Just days before the conference, Ehrlich, who has defended forced abortion and mass forced sterilization as legitimate means to control the world’s population, advocated in an interview with The Guardian for cutting the world’s population by 6 billion people to bring it down to 1 billion. In the paper’s words, he said doing so would have an “overall pro-life effect.” The paper indicated he believed this could “sustain many more human lives in the long term compared with our current uncontrolled growth and prospect of sudden collapse.”

When LifeSiteNews asked the panelists at the Vatican press conference if any scientists were invited to the conference who held an alternative view on the world’s population, Bishop Sorondo replied: “You can see the papers, since everything was published on the website, the texts and the discussions.”

Sorondo said that while “there were different opinions on population” during the conference’s discussions, the participants reached two conclusions: “That the carbonization (pollution) of the air is not caused by the number of human beings, but by the activity of humans who use the materials at hand” and that “in order to have an integral environment, biodiversity must be conserved – [and] that also depends on human activity.”

Dasgupta, Ehrlich’s co-author, said during the panel that the number of humans on the planet is not sustainable. He added that humans must arrive at a point where their numbers are determined by how “the earth can replenish herself.”

Upon LifeSiteNews’ question about what this point would look like and how many people would be ideal for the planet, Dasgupta answered: “We should not calculate that. The number of humans depends on standards of living, or quality of life. It depends on the total demand that we make on Mother Nature. If humans were not here there would be other factors.”

While leaving the question essentially unanswered, Dasgupta presented the solution of “working backwards,” stating that “we have to figure out the human impact on Mother Nature on an annual basis: If the impact grows, we will be concerned. If the impact is reduced, then mother nature will replenish.”

He suggested that the “best step forward” to begin curbing “population growth” would be with a “focus on the family and education.” He did not clarify what such “education” might entail.

The Catholic Church condemns coercive population control methods. Instead of seeing people as ‘mouths to feed,’ ‘pollution producers,’ or ‘carbon footprint makers,’ the Church sees each and every person as a unique and unrepeatable gift from God. Created in the image and likeness of God, and redeemed by Jesus Christ, the Church teaches that each person is filled with the greatest dignity as a son or daughter of God who is ultimately called to eternal beatitude in the Kingdom of God.

Earlier this week a global coalition of pro-life and pro-family organizations urged Catholics to “resist” the Vatican’s increasing alliance with the leftist agenda, specifically as championed by the United Nations, warning that such an alliance poses an “immediate and serious threat” to children and the family.

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5 comments on “‘Pope Francis has urged us to have fewer children,’ claims Vatican academy member

  1. Population controllers to Vatican: ‘Responsible parenthood’ has failed. Use ‘taxes and regulations’ to reduce population

    Jean Smits

    March 2, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Population controllers told the Vatican at a conference this week that the Catholic teaching of “responsible parenthood” in determining family size has “result[ed] in collective failure” in reducing the world’s population. They suggested that the only way to stop the exhaustion of “humanity’s natural capital” is by imposing a system of “taxes and regulations” that would help modify “social norms of behaviour.”

    This week’s Vatican symposium on Biological Extinction, sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was a closed-door event. Speaking at the event were two controversial figures, Paul Ehrlich and Partha Dasgupta (read their paper here).

    Both are population control advocates who speak as enemies of the Catholic Church’s traditional teaching and morals. They also make the environmentalists’ agenda perfectly clear: They want population control and a general contraction of living standards in a more and more socialized world.

    Environmental Health News described their speech as a “moral revolution,” the very words used by the Vatican event’s sponsors in their presentation. In Pope Francis’ Laudato si’, the appeal for an “ecological conversion” is much the same.

    Many of the 15 pages of Ehrlich and Dasgupta’s lengthy conference address are devoted to catastrophic predictions about the “Sixth Biological Extinction,” as well as warnings that the future of “civilization is utterly dependent” on the global ecosystem.

    But the most important part of their presentation aims at creating a sort of moral code that would serve to put a halt to “over-exploitation” of the Earth’s resources, as well as reducing “pollution.”

    Agriculture, in their eyes, is one of the main destroyers of life on earth. Nuclear war is an even greater threat. As to conventional warfare, it “also often harms biodiversity, but ironically can sometimes help protect it by making overexploitation more difficult.”

    Overexploitation is the direct result of two factors, according to the two authors: Too much wealth in the “rich countries,” that leads to excessive consumption, and too many people on the Earth. They write:

    Translated into the language of equity, humanity’s enormous success in recent decades is very likely to have been a down payment for future failure. The tradeoff is between living standards today and living standards in the future. Our immediate success in raising both human numbers and the average standard of living has created a conflict between us and our descendants. […] Today Malthus, the ‘pessimistic parson’, is seen as a ‘false prophet’, remaining as wrong as ever (The Economist, 15 May 2008); and books celebrating humanity’s achievements read as breathless expressions of triumphalism.

    This can only mean that they agree with Thomas Malthus, the 19th-century Anglican pastor and economist who wrote extensively about what he saw as the ills of excessive population and who opposed all assistance for the needy. He laid the foundations for coercive population control – the new tyranny whose advent was foretold by Humanae vitae some 50 years ago.

    Ehrlich and Dasgupta advocate negative growth to put an end to over-exploitation of the Earth’s resources. They put it like this:

    That GDP doesn’t include the depreciation of capital explains why the phrase ‘Green GDP’ is a misnomer and why to call for indefinite GDP growth and to demand sustainable development at the same time is to seek two incompatible objectives.

    So they want a decrease in the global GDP, in order to reduce man’s “Ecological footprint”, where a footprint of 1 per person is equivalent to an exploitation of Earth’s resources by the present population that would not be excessive. They write:

    We assume for simplicity that demand from the biosphere is proportional to income. Global income in 2015 was approximately 110 trillion international dollars. With current technologies and under contemporary institutional arrangements, a footprint of 1 would require that global income be approximately 70 trillion international dollars (110 trillion/1.6 international dollars). To put it in the crudest of terms, 70 trillion international dollars represent today the outer limit to global economic activity if the biosphere is to be protected against further damage. We make use of this figure subsequently when estimating what could be done to achieve that without undue stress to the global community.

    This says little about the true use or misuse of resources and pollution. The Chinese, for example, have a mean wealth that is far below that of developed countries but their industry is a great deal more polluting.

    But Ehrlich and Dasgupta are defending a political agenda. Further on, they proclaim that parents take the good of the future into account in seeking the good of their children. That’s not enough, though. The two self-affirming malthusians say that parents’ choices don’t take all the “externalities” into account. By that, they mean “the unaccounted for consequences for others of actions taken by one or more persons. The qualifier ‘unaccounted for’ means that the consequences in question follow without prior engagement with those who are affected.”

    This leads them to explain:

    Here we study systematic reasons why choices made even by thoughtful parents do not reflect adequate engagement with other people’s descendants. As they are symptoms of institutional failure, externalities cannot be substantially reduced without considered collective action. That is why responsible parenthood and consumption decisions at the individual level can nevertheless result in collective failure.

    So, decisions made by parents for children and their future are necessarily insufficient and inadequate. But then who is to decide this? Reading between the lines, it is hard not to guess that Ehrlich and Dasgupta want some sort of social pressure to be put on families to conform to the new model – with the community and even the government deciding whether family decisions are genuinely “responsible.” That would be revolutionary in itself. Within the walls of the Vatican, it should sound crazy.

    But the authors are quite prepared to impose their ideas through coercion. They write:

    The externalities our use of open access resources give rise to are adverse. To reduce them would require a suitable combination of environmental taxes and regulations, social norms of behaviour, and above all the development of an educational system that teaches us the value of biodiversity – both innate and functional.

    This is social engineering at the least, and shows that the “moral revolution” the environmentalists are pursuing wants to change minds and hearts not for their spiritual good, but for the good of this material Earth.

    This change should be brought about, say Ehrlich and Dasgupta, by bringing consumption down. They write:

    The World Bank in its World Development Indicators 2016 reports that the 1.4 billion people living in its list of high-income countries enjoy a per capita income of 40,700 international dollars. Thus, the richest 19 per cent of the world’s population consume over 51 percent of world income (57 trillion/110 trillion). Continuing to assume that humanity’s impact on the biosphere is proportional to income, 51 per cent of that impact can be attributed to 19 per cent of world population. If the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be met, consumption patterns in these countries have to alter substantially.

    Rich countries should get poorer, in other words. And the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – that include “reproductive rights” – require it.

    The idea of making people deliberately poorer isn’t easy to sell, although Ehrlich and Dasgupta have found a way. They write:

    Consumption behavior is influenced both by our urge to compete with others (Veblen’s ‘conspicuous consumption’) and by our innate desire to conform. Each is a reflection of socially embedded consumption preferences for goods and services. As both drivers give rise to consumption externalities, the psychological cost to a person of a collective reduction in consumption is likely to be far less than what it would be if she were to reduce consumption unilaterally. The aggregate cost could even be negative, especially if the working poor were less poor relative to the working rich; as the former are far greater in number.

    In other words, being poor is less hard if everyone is in the same boat, while living alongside richer people makes poverty harder to bear. According to this logic, the search for equality becomes the main objective, while bringing down the level of equality.

    What Ehrlich and Dasgupta seem to be saying is that money doesn’t make people happy anyway, so they all might as well have less of it. They write:

    An analysis of one set of global surveys of ‘stated happiness’ and their relationship with household incomes has revealed that in countries where per capita income is in excess of 20,000 international dollars, additional income is not statistically related to greater reported happiness (Layard, 2011). Imagine that the 1.4 billion people in today’s high-income countries were to reduce their average consumption (or income) to 20,000 international dollars. The drop of 20,700 international dollars (40,700-20,000 international) per person in a population of 1.4 billion adds up to a total of 31 trillion international dollars (Dasgupta and Dasgupta, 2017). Other things equal, world income would then be 79 (i.e. 110-31) trillion international dollars, a figure for global economic activity that is not far above the 70 trillion dollars we obtained as a crude estimate for sustainable global income with present technology under contemporary social institutions.

    The second “Dasgupta” in the quote mentioned above, by the way, is Aisha, Partha’s daughter. She is an “impact manager” at Marie Stopes International, one of the largest abortion providers in the world.

    The authors’ arguments do not take into account different needs in different parts of the world, nor do they want to acknowledge that financial independence is often a prerequisite for freedom. In a socialized country, people can (theoretically) do with less cash. But they have no liberty to choose their children’s schools and education. Is that where the environmentalists are going?

    Ehrlich and Dasgupta certainly seem to be going that way. Their conclusion is very clear:

    The short-range solutions to the problem of preserving biodiversity are many, and dealt with extensively in the literature of conservation biology (Sodhi and Ehrlich 2010). But these will all prove to no avail unless the basic drivers of extermination – continued population growth, policies seeking economic growth at any cost, overconsumption by the rich, and racial, gender, political, and economic inequity (including failure to redistribute) – are addressed. Collectively addressing these are possibly the greatest challenges civilization has ever faced.

    This is not the stuff freedom is made of. In giving these men a platform to promote their agenda, the Vatican has failed Catholics the world over.

    The symbolism of this call to a new form of asceticism in a symposium marking the first day of Lent should not be overlooked. Asceticism and self-sacrifice are noble in so far as their object is noble. It is God who gives them their meaning. Here, mankind is being called to asceticism for “the Planet” – a new, material god who wants man to contradict and forget the laws of his own nature. Man does so at his own peril, both temporal and spiritual.

  2. Does Papa Francesco have any ideas in terms of numbers how much the air conditioner tax should be? 100 dollars per month? 200? On top of a $500 annual usage tax, right? Or maybe $1000 or even $2000 for wealthier citizens. Then, of course, there has to be a monthly tax for driving a gasoline-powered automobile. A water and toilet tax. If you use a television or computer, there has to be a tax for that. Hair dryer and dishwasher tax. Red meat tax. If you eat beans that causes a lot of methane to be released from flatulence, so there needs to be a bean tax and a flatulence tax. Obviously smart meters need to be attached to everyone’s posteriors and your pastor needs to check that regularly to make sure your methane emissions are not exceeding your allotted carbon units each week. Gee, Vatican II just gets more complicated every day. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the Commonweal crowd thought Vatican II would get away from guilt and Jansenism, but with all of these new sin taxes it doesn’t look like that is the case at all. Don’t forget the electric shaver tax.

  3. The Pope Calls for Global Fart Tax
    Holly Beth McQuackly
    National Catholic Distorter
    March 3, 2017

    ROME, March 3, 2017 – Citing overpopulation, Pope Francis called for a global flatulence tax to discourage people from giving in to releasing methane emissions too eagerly after eating gassy foods. After meeting with Malthusian population control freaks and Illuminati depopulation experts at a Vatican conference on overpopulation and climate change, the Holy Father suggested the idea in a spontaneous airplane interview.

    Father Guido Sarducci, a professor of systematic theology at the Gregorian University in Rome said that “the obsessive-compulsive population control expert Paul Ehrlich has been visiting the Vatican to give the Holy Father advice on this pressing issue. Ehrlich has been pretty unhinged, but the Holy Father has decided that a global tax on farting should be collected by the United Nations and ponied up by Catholics to slow down global warming. At the moment, the Holy Father and Bishop Sorondo are studying how to set up a Pontifical Academy for Monitoring Flatulence Emissions which will be under the direction of Bishop Sorondo with some assistance from Paul Ehrlich who has some expertise in this area and is very keen on getting started in his new position in the Vatican.”

    The Holy Father was seen in St. Peter’s Square testing wind speed and checking air temperature to measure the impact of this week’s flatulence emissions in Rome. “At the top of the list,” Father Sarducci continued, “will be installing methane emission smart meters on the posteriors of every Catholic in the world. This will take some time and some getting used to, I can assure you. They come in different sizes but have to be properly fitted under the supervision of your parish priest.”

    Pope Francis was seen smiling, waving, and giggling after the population control conference in his usual giddy demeanor that has concerned some papal critics. It was unclear when the tax will take effect. The papal commission is preparing a new encyclical by Pope Francis which will address the new regulations for the personal methane emission smart meters.

    Father Sarducci explained how the new system will work, “each week your pastor will check your methane emission smart meter to see if you are keeping your carbon units low enough. The names of those using too much will be posted in the front entrance of the church on a kind of bulletin board. They’re pretty serious about cracking down on too much farting.”

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