[“A voice of one crying out in the wilderness”?]
NEW YORK, New York, April 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis’ representative to the United Nations denounced population control before a UN population and development gathering this week.
“For decades, talk of an impending population bomb has led certain governments to adopt policies that encourage population control measures,” Archbishop Bernardito Auza said, “some of them draconian, as the easiest response to the fear of resource scarcity and underdevelopment.”
The archbishop’s comment comes just a month after one of the world’s leading population control zealots, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, was given a platform to speak at a Vatican “Biological Extinction” conference. Ehrlich is the author of the controversial 1968 book The Population Bomb in which he defended compulsory population-control laws, including even compulsory abortion.
Ehrlich’s Vatican appearance, along with a number of other radical population control and abortion supporters, alarmed pro-life and family groups.
Statements from some of Pope Francis’ closest aides and his own apparent support for the invitations created dismay and confusion among the faithful, as did his support for the UN’s controversial Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which ostensibly conflict with the Holy See’s official position on the SDGs.
At this week’s 50th Session of the Commission on Population and Development at the UN, Archbishop Auza addressed the Commission on the subject of changing population age structures and sustainable development.
The archbishop, as Permanent UN Observer of the Holy See, criticized prosperous nations that withhold authentic aid from developing nations as a form of coerced population control.
“Respect for life from the moment of conception to natural death, even in the face of the great challenge of birth, must always inform policies,” he said, “especially when it comes to international aid, which should be made available according to the real priorities of the receiving nation, and not by an imposed will of the donor.”
This respect for life must also guide the policies governments put in place, the archbishop said. The investment of aid to developing nations should not just be spent on education and healthcare but in adequate housing and sanitation and access to clean water, he said.
Archbishop Auza told the Commission that even though the world’s overall population is aging and not reproducing to replacement levels, the human person must always be the chief concern.
“While these demographic changes present a new set of challenges and opportunities,” he stated, “nonetheless sustainable development, poverty eradication, and the defense of the dignity of the human person must remain central to our collective response.”
Archbishop Auza pointed out that this demographic transition happened in the developed world before it had access to modern methods of contraception, occurring via other forms of advancement.
He also decried imposed fertility regulation as undermining freedom and responsibility
“While responsible parenthood and sexual behavior are always moral imperatives,” Archbishop Auza stated, “the coercive regulation of fertility, especially under the guise of empowerment and rights, undermines individual freedom and responsibility.”
The pope’s UN representative concluded his intervention by saying the most vulnerable must remain at the front of UN population and development initiatives.
“This right to life must also lead us to keep the elderly, the disabled and the most vulnerable at the forefront of our development policies,” stated Archbishop Auza. “Not only must they be enabled by society to attain full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life, but their inherent value must not be reduced merely to a question of what they can produce or how physically able they are.”
He stressed that a human person’s worth is greater than his or her financial worth and that development must be approached from a more human-centered manner.
“Leaving no one behind also means recognizing that the value of every person is greater than his or her economic contribution and that our burdens are meant to be shared,” Archbishop Auza said. “We must begin from a more sustainable, human-centered approach to development, rooted in solidarity and genuine responsibility for the needs of all, especially of the most vulnerable.”