“We need at some point to have a limited number of people which is why Pope Francis and his three most recent predecessors have always argued that you should not have more children than you can bring up properly,” a panelist at a Vatican-run workshop on “how to save the natural world” claimed 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, which included 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 Catholic 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.”