The world must be peopled!

On an early episode of Battlestar Galactica, the new and embattled president observes that if the human race was going to survive, people better start having babies.

We know that a lot of priests and bishops are rather silent about contraception… because they are afraid of their flocks.  Similarly, how often do people hear their pastors suggest that having babies is a good thing?

You know… with the way things are going right now, with the way the debt of nations is being racked up – to an extent that future generations will never be able to pay for it as things are going – a declining population means total disaster down the line: exponentially increasing burden + declining workforce … = … ?

This story is really interesting.

Church leader sparks Georgian baby boom

By Tom Esslemont
BBC News, Tbilisi

 Two years after having one of the lowest birth rates in the world, Georgia is enjoying something of a baby boom, following an intervention from the country’s most senior cleric.

At the end of 2007, in a move to reverse the Caucasian country’s dwindling birth figures, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, came up with an incentive. He promised to personally baptise any baby born to parents of more than two children.

There was only one catch: the baby had to be born after the initiative was launched.

The results are, in the words of the Georgian Orthodox Church, "a miracle". 

Easy decision

The country’s birth rate increased by nearly 20% during 2008 – a rate four times faster than the previous year.

Many parents say they took the decision to have another child on the basis of the Patriarch’s incentive.

In a country which early last year boasted of having economic growth rates of 7.9% there is little doubt that economic factors may have played a role in bringing on the baby boom.

But the role of the Church cannot be underestimated in Georgia.

Twenty years ago, just before Georgia gained independence from the Soviet Union, the Orthodox religion was all but suppressed in the country.

Now it is more than clear that the faith has never been stronger.

Read the whole story.

Interesting, no?

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51 Responses to The world must be peopled!

  1. JPSonnen says:

    beautiful. would be great to have our cardinals make the same offer! let us pray…

  2. This came out the next day on Orthodox forums and blogs. May I point out that His Beatitude is going to be busier than you may suspect, as “baptize” in Orthodoxy means first baptize, then chrismate (confirm), then give Holy Communion to the child.

    A blessed event indeed.

  3. Rudy B says:

    There’s a smart prelate…

    Population decline is a bigger problem than most of us realize:

    http://www.demographicwinter.com

  4. Megan says:

    As a priest at my university has put it: “Procreate and dominate.” Good Catholics having large families will bring more souls to Christ, populate the world, and, yes, even boost the economy. ;-)

    [I think this is what is happening in the muslim communities, no?]

  5. GordonBOPS says:

    Obviously, more babies is good for the economy too… I hope that’s part of the Pope’s encyclical. Obviously, blind consumerism is bad, but there is basically a symbotic relationship between the overall population and consumption of goods.

  6. JC says:

    Whatever pundits want to say, depopulation *is* the cause of the world economic crisis.
    John XXIII predicted it. Pat Buchanan predicted it. Human Life International predicted it as recently as 2003, when they appealed to Bush to repeal the Kissinger Doctine and said that there were already signs of a worldwide economic collapse.

    Priests and bishops don’t preach about it, and those of us laity who do get accused of being “fanatics” and “extremists.” The bishops who speak out on abortion are acalled “Right Wing” operatives.

    Any implication that we should take a stand on contraception is called “judgementalism,” an d people raise the spectre of secondary infertility.

  7. Ma Tucker says:

    I don’t know Father, I suppose judicious choice of cardinal would have to be important. You don’t want people running to the mountains in horror! :) [... huh? ... I don't get it. ]

  8. Matthew says:

    I remember a priest saying something like the following: “The best gift you can give your children is not the latest toy, Nintendo, or game… but another baby brother or sister.”

  9. DavidJ says:

    I know my wife and I are doing are part. Married almost four years with a two year old, a one year old and one on the way!

  10. Anne Scanlon says:

    I would encourage everyone to view “Demographic Winter”…..make it a parish or community event….it is excellent !!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Randy says:

    But mandatory NFP classes in pre-cana are still a good idea, right?

  12. Thomas Burk says:

    “afraid of their flocks.”

    Flocks of wolves?

  13. Dino says:

    Sorry, maybe it was not God’s will…my wife and I never had any children.
    How about another miracle? The Cardinal Archbishop of Los Ángeles hearing the confession of Bp. Williamson in Taj Mahony, right after he gets rid of the Kool-Aid pitcher, baskets and bans the dancers.

  14. Ben Trovato says:

    Some 50 odd years ago, the bishop of Southwark, visiting my parents\’ parish said, in passing, that he would baptise the eighth child of any couple in the parish.

    So a few years later whin I was due, my parents asked the parish priest if he thought the bishop had been serious. As a result, I was baptised by Bishop Cowderoy.

    Now it\’s just three: that\’s inflation for you!

  15. Dave N. says:

    US birthrates are on the upswing, but I doubt it’s due to fidelity to church teaching:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/20/AR2007122002725_pf.html

  16. Fr Z: “I think this is what is happening in the muslim communities, no?”

    No. The birth rate is in steady decline in Muslim countries also. In Iran the TFP has plummeted to 1.71, which is less than many western European countries (France for example is 2.1).

  17. Fr J says:

    But Father! The world IS over populated now and increasing the burden on our dwindling resources pushing humanity to further extremes of “science” in order to appease self-desire and greed for consumer goods, as well as food stuffs (in or out of season), water etc IS NOT GOING TO HELP!

    Good people – our world is dying both literally AND spiritually – the way to address the problem is not to ignore the evil but CHANGE the habits, thinking, behavior and attitude of our race. EXACTLY what the Holy Father was saying about Condoms re abstinence and fidelity in Africa can and should be applied to good stewardship of the Creation. TRUE charity includes GOOD stewardship of the world’s resources and it also means not heaping more problems on future generations to face re climate change and global warming, but addressing and changing our lifestyles NOW!

    So increased population increases economy – what are our priorities here?! Increased population = increased demand = increased selfishness = DYING people from starvation and drought = DYING species and vegetation and arable land = DYING forests and shrinking rivers = DYING PLANET!

    I’m sorry to say that increasing the world’s population is rather like encouraging Condoms… it exacerbates the situation, it doesn’t address it!

    CHANGE HUMANITY FIRST… don’t just ‘leave it all to God’!

  18. plisto says:

    Fr J, I agree whole heartedly. I think many who ost here will not..;-)

  19. I agree with some of what Fr J says. It’s clear that the planet’s resources are incapable of sustaining an increased population, at least as things currently stand. However one of the most tragic facts about world hunger is that one its major contribants is that much arable and fertile farmland in Africa is left to ruin, to desertification or is improperly farmed. This could be rectified with the introduction of more sophisticated farming techniques. Land that could be highly productive is going to waste.

    And of course it goes without saying that greater emphasis needs to be put on ecological conservation. But it would not be a bad thing were the living standards of the developed world to decline; we are living way beyond our means.

  20. Fr J says:

    Thank you Plisto and Shane… I hesitated before posting but I am confident Fr Z appreciates where I am coming from – I’m certainly not “dissing” Father’s post… I’m “just asking…?!”

  21. Bogna says:

    @ Fr J and others. Is it sarcasm or are you really believing overpopulation myth? I hope you can read maths – read the world population statistics. Population of some (few) of the countries is still growing, but most of the world – especially Europe and America is dying out.

  22. Ann says:

    The belief that declining population is a cure all for the environmental abuses is a culture of death position for it rejects the good of human life.

    The issues of encouraging people to live more simply, to build for sustainability and multiple use so that older buildings need not be wasted and replaced with new buildings but only adapted. Building with sufficient insulation to help prevent waste and selecting designs which use materials efficiently and which will last.

    Recycling and choosing to skip material goods which fail to bring happiness are all good things.

    But it is not necessary to reject the good of a population which does a bit better than replacement in order to do the things which help to make the world better.

    The child prevented might be the one who makes the scientific discoveries which are most needed at some critical point. The child who grows up to be the next great saint, or a great political leader who does good rather than harm, these may not always be eldest or only children, often the great people come from larger families.

    We have the good of NFP for families whose economic and other conditions recommend a limited number of children, but other families feel called to large numbers and ought to be praised rather than discouraged for their response to what they feel is the right thing.

    Children are a blessing and the population control talk really tends to negate that.

  23. Fr J says:

    Bogna – open your eyes and your ears and SEE what is happening to our world… Only the greedy want you to believe that climate change and overpopulation are myths… Do you not see tsunami, hurricanes, floods, drought, desert, disease, starvation, dehydration, the poor?

    Whether the world is over populated or not – it’s just figures – what matters is humanity’s attitude to Creation and to each other. That is what IS killing us and the planet.

    In The Church we call the correct attitude “Charity”… when we have been successful in practicing charity amongst ourselves, we may then be able to lead by example the rest of the human race…?!

  24. Fr J says:

    Ann – all of what you say makes sense… if and only IF, humanity changes it’s attitudes… I’m not for preventing the birth of children – when did I say that? I’m just saying that a more responsible attitude towards resources and each other will ensure there is a world for future generations to inherit…

    There are enough souls now with God-given talent and skills who could change things for the better. WE could change things for the better if only people had the strength of their convictions and faith to do so.

  25. Michael NYC says:

    Being a former Soviet republic, I imagine abortion was rampant. I wonder if there has also been a decrease in the abortion rate due to greater church freedom and might that add to these demographic changes?

  26. Ann, I agree but please note I am not proposing population control, nor is Fr J. There are more moral methods of preserving the enivronment and redistributing wealth, but all require that the western world becomes less selfish, materialistic and consumer-driven. Every single problem in the world can be tracted to a diverenge from Catholic truth. We can only resolve these problems within a moral framework. But problems they will remain: civilization has no future if we keep going down the path of unrestrained hedonism where resources dwindle at an alarming rate and environmental concerns are carelessly dismissed. It requires that western society adapt itself to more humbler circumstances, for the third world have as much a right to this planet (if not more) than we in the western world do. As St Ambrose said: “The soil was given to rich and poor in common.”

  27. cathomommy says:

    Shane, I’d say it all hangs together. One of the best ways to get people to be less “selfish, materialistic and consumer-driven is for them to have a large family. It’s truly hard to be selfish, both materially and spiritually, when you are sacrificially caring for many young souls and are prayerfully open to more.

  28. A Random Friar says:

    I’d make the same offer… but some lowly friar doesn’t have the same pull. Still, if every bishop did this…

  29. mpm says:

    In The Church we call the correct attitude “Charity”… when we have
    been successful in practicing charity amongst ourselves, we may then
    be able to lead by example the rest of the human race…?!

    Comment by Fr J — 28 March 2009 @ 4:51 pm

    I doubt anyone knows exactly where the limits of population growth lie,
    mostly since the human mind rises to a challenge.

    But, along with a proper relationship toward the procreation of children,
    I think the key is evangelical poverty, taken seriously and lived by
    Christians, including lay Christians. To some extent, less is more,
    and with certainty it leaves more for others! Of course, here I am not
    thinking so much about the “third world”, but our “first world”.

  30. Son of Trypho says:

    Shane O’Neill is correct in that there is a decline similarly in Islamic communities however he omits an important difference – what is the % of folks aged 15-25 in Iran, or most Islamic countries, say vs an average European country? That is where the long-term issues set in.

  31. Ann says:

    \”There are more moral methods of preserving the enivronment and redistributing wealth, but all require that the western world becomes less selfish, materialistic and consumer-driven. Every single problem in the world can be tracted to a diverenge from Catholic truth.\”

    I agree that there are moral methods for preserving the environment–and what I think are the best ones do not include lambasting the Western world for having a system that works to reward hard work with a home and money for the kid\’s college fund.

    Blaming the system in the West that has given us the huge success that has allowed this country\’s generous people to donate huge sums of money to charities that do good work all over the world is not productive to protecting the good.

    As I see it \”redistibuting wealth\” is another way of saying to take it by taxation from those who earned it and give it to those who did not earn it.

    I DISAGREE.

    The Church should be teaching clearly and loudly about charity, and the goodness of simple living, and about the importance of living at a level that is comfortable but not excessive so that you have funds available to give to charities.

    But it is essential that the giving be done by the individuals.

    Teach people to love God and do good works, including with their money, but the whole idea of \”redistributing wealth\” is wrong because it is forced.

    How is it right to take a working man, and tax him so hard that he has difficulty affording the children he and his wife are eager to raise, in order to pay for government programs that end up funding abortions around the world and paying people who refuse to work even if they can?

    It is a myth that there even is a need to redistribute wealth, what is needed is an awareness of the individual\’s responsibility to cut back their own budget and give generously from their own funds as a normal part of their money management. This does not require anyone to redistribute anything, it only requires a long program of education in morality and charity and what is important in life.

    What is more, is this myth of the selfishness of the Western world. I agree that materialism is a serious problem, but it is one that can be corrected by evangelizing the culture and inspiring individuals to alter the pattern of their lives.

    But it is also true that we in the West also provide the bulk of the funds for most of the world\’s charities. If our economy dies, so does the bulk of the money funding the charities around the world.

    If the bulk of the money for charities around the world comes from the generosity of the people of the Western world–then I would say that it is not true that the West is selfish.

    Not as good as they could be–probably. In need of simplifying their lives and decreasing their addiction to shopping, probably. But selfish is not it. Misguided probably, but this is correctable by teaching morality, educating in ethics, urging a more ascetic approach to life.

    The rhetoric that the west is selfish and that wealth ought to be redistributed, is not fair nor accurate. We are the most charitable, but could still do better. And it should be the decision of the wage earner to donate, and not have it taken by force in the form of increased taxes, that way the working man with six kids can choose to live simply, raise lots of kids and put some money into college for the kids, and the single career woman can choose to live simply and donate more to Catholic Charities or her own favorite good work.

  32. DavidJ says:

    @Randy: Yes, NFP should be at least presented. Given that sex is a reality of marriage, part of being a responsible married person is determining whether now is the appropriate time to have a child. Sure, you start from an assumption of “yes” but it’s still something that does deserve constant prayerful consideration. Chances are, at some point in your marriage, there will be a time for some grave reason that it is not an appropriate time to add one to the Catholic population. Catholic couples need to know their morally licit options. If nothing else, the charting and knowledge that comes with modern NFP classes is a good way for a women to better understand her body and her husband to greater appreciate her as wife and mother.

    And let’s face it: reality-wise, how many Catholic engaged couples even have a clue on the Church’s stance on children and what’s permissible and not when it comes to having a family? I can only speak from my experience, but I think in the pre-Cana classes my wife & I attended, we were the only couple not living together. I’m don’t want to assume to much, but I think it’s probably a safe bet that aside from my wife and I, a lot of that information was new to most of the couples.

    It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged NFP course, but there needs to be enough information presented to give engaged couples the understanding that artificial birth control is morally illicit and that there are ways, other than total abstinence, of working with the body as long as the appropriate grave reasons are there.

  33. Truman says:

    I assume “Fr. J” is a satirist depicting the more witless attitudes left over from the seventies, but it still bears noting that it is in the “selfish” capitalist West that innovation and technology have combined to essentially eradicate things long sought to be endemic to the human condition, from death in childbirth to widespread hunger and any number of diseases.

  34. Chris says:

    Almost every ill of society can be traced back to contraception, especially with the Church. Don’t believe me, just try to play it like a game — like six degrees to Kevin Bacon. It works.

    Not enough priest so they’re closing churches. Well, how many of you had more than two? Do you know how many it usually takes to get a priest or a nun? Can’t afford teachers, well we have to close the so-called “Catholic” schools. Well, they used to be run by nuns for free, now there are no nuns because no one is having kids. It can go on and on.

    The day neo-cons and liberals finally stop contracepting, both artificially and naturally (NFP), is the day the Church starts to really recover. Throw away the pills and condoms and throw away the rediculous charts and graphs and just have kids. And, if God forbid you really, really can’t afford another kid for the time being, then abstain and offer it up to God.

  35. Biff says:

    Chris:

    Interesting. Out there on the web is a free downloadable talk by Chad Ripperger FSSP on the NFP madness (with particular attention given to pre-cana classes)

  36. Matt says:

    My wife and I studied NFP and for a while used this process. After studying church history and the teachings of pre 20th century popes, we stopped. Funny thing is we were always taken care of. As our family grew we were always worried where the money, house, food, etc. was going to come from. We just practiced our faith and trusted that we would be taken of. We now have five children and we have always had more than we needed.

    My sister and her husband practice NFP. They have been married almost five years and only have one child. They are in debt up to their ears, in risk of losing their jobs, etc. My sister calls panicked if her period is late by more than a day or two. Her husband has stated that another child would be the “Worst possible thing to happen to them at this time.” Not surprisingly he is worried about not being able to go on his week long expedition style hunting trip to Canada, having to sell his motorcycle, etc. He is more worried about his “things” than his family. It really makes me sad to know my children will only have a few cousins as they grow up.

    I had almost 30 cousins when I was growing up. I really enjoyed going to Chiristmas and Easter family gatherings. There were a lot of people there with lots of stories, etc. My children won’t have that experience and I really think that is sad.

  37. DavidJ says:

    Properly understood and properly practiced–and that includes the proper circumstances–NFP is useful and moral technique. It is just as easy to misuse or abuse as anything else.

  38. Athelstane says:

    Hello Fr. J.

    “Only the greedy want you to believe that climate change and overpopulation are myths… ”

    I don’t want to go down a global warming rabbit hole, but the question for many is not so much the fact of climate change – climate change is a fact of life on Earth – but the role of human activity in bringing it about.

    I’m all for a crunchy con lifestyle, but in little part because I’m concerned about my “carbon footprint.”

  39. Biff says:

    ND re: NFP (Nature Fooling People or No Foolin’ your Parents).

    The Church approves of the Method not necessarily the Motives.

  40. Terry K says:

    I would HIGHLY recommend to any providentialist out there
    that they read a book or two by Jason Evert or Dr. Popcak
    before they shoot their mouths off on NFP!

  41. JohnK says:

    A wonderful idea. Surprising that it worked, though I’m glad that it did, at least temporarily. Probably not a permanent, or world-wide, solution to a terrible problem.

    Really distressing to read some of the Comments here. The idea that less population would be more ‘sustainable’ might not be bunk, in some theoretical sense. The slight problem is that eliminating the young and the not-yet-conceived definitely creates an unsustainable economy. The BALANCE of young and old gets thrown off, since the most economically productive in the future — won’t be there.

    That is, — and I mean this literally — everyone arguing (or, to be more charitable, mindlessly repeating) the total crap that ‘the world’ would be better off with less population should volunteer to be the first up against the wall, come the revolution. Eliminate yourselves, not future productive generations. That’s the ticket to ‘sustainability.’

    On the home front, one would think that even bishops (and ahem, Curial officials) apparently more concerned about highly-debatable definitions of ‘social justice’ would also have on their moral radars completely indubitable FACTS such as a worldwide profound decline in fertility rates, and generational theft. But Nooooooo…. That would require actual thinking….

    Along that line, I’m always happy to (re-)introduce analyst (and Catholic) John D. Mueller to any audience. His paper, “How Does Fiscal Policy Affect the American Worker?” shows that if the level of social benefits supplied by a government goes up too much, fertility declines, and also, if a government taxes labor income too much vis a vis property wealth, fertility declines then also. This is true world-wide; it’s not a local phenomenon. Also, frequency of worship is POSITIVELY related to fertility (big surprise!). Here’s how he says it:

    “Fertility is about equally inversely related to per capita social benefits and per capita national savings, but strongly, positively related to frequency of worship (an indicator of people’s preference for persons other than themselves). Thus, either allowing social benefits to rise as a share of national income (as Democrats propose) or forcing workers to save more by shifting the tax burden to labor income (as Republicans pro- pose) would tip fertility below the replacement rate of about 2.1 children per couple. Combining these analyses leads to an important conclusion: To avoid both a fall in fertility below the replacement rate and a rise in the unemployment rate as in Europe, social benefits must not be permitted to grow as a share of national income and must continue to be financed by taxes on labor income, while government services benefiting both workers and property owners must be funded by an income tax that falls equally on labor and property income.”

    Go to this link. Then find ‘View as pdf’ at the top right, click on that, follow the directions that pop up and download the pdf of the paper, and read the whole thing.

  42. Dominic H says:

    Georgia is a really fascinating (and very traditional) country; perhaps that region of what one might call Eurasia (avoiding some of the political/ideological subtexts associated with that term) the one in which might say that something like chivalry is a potent force, in several regards. (It’s also not entirely inconcievable in the medium term that the monarchy may be reinstated there, too….)

    Anyay, this move on the part of the patriarch seems to follow on from and recall recent state-sponsored pro-natalist campaigns elsewhere in the ex-USSR; in Ukraine (where the population has declined from 52 million to under 48 million since 1989) such campaigns have been running for at least four years; while in Russia the old concept of “Hero Mothers” has (this year) been reinstated, whereby mothers of seven children get some state award or decoration. But I don’t know to the extent that the Church (of whichever stripe) has been involved in such areas there.

    On abortion rates in Georgia: the UNICEF TRANSMONEE database (which should be available online somewhere) will provide exact details: and they are that, while never (anywhere near) as high as rates in Russia, Ukraine (or indeed, one must observe, in general those republics of the ex-USSR with a high Russian/East Slavic population), they have declined by around 2/3rd since 1989, from 75.6 abortions per 100 live births in 1989 to 44.4 per 100 today; there has been a consistent downturn since around 1994 (although the figures are not directly comparable as the more recent figures exclude data from the two areas of Georgia not under the control of the republican government). By way of comparison, the abortion rate in Russia went from 204.9 abortions to every 100 live births to 106.9 per 100; in Ukraine from 153.2 per 100 to 33.7 per 100. I’d be really interested in particular to know what led to such a dramatic downturn in abortions in the latter country; to find if there was anything done there that could usefully be applied elsewhere. (it is possible that the major demographic crisis there is the major factor, I guess, but there is surely more to it that that)

  43. Dominic H says:

    Sorry, of course the decline in Georgia was by around one third, not two-thirds. (And if Abkhazia and South Ossetia are included, almost certainly less). So in fact not so large a downturn at all.

    (Not so much “think then post” as “check and double-check the data then post”. Sorry)

  44. does anyone realize that large families seem to foster more VOCATIONS, not vacations. Small families seem to be devoid of vocations, parents wanting grandchildren, do not encourage Priest and Sisters, (yes we NEED SISTERS TOO ) the long term result of large families is vocations.

  45. William Radovaich says:

    “THOU SHALT LIVE LOVE. THOU SHALT LOVE LIFE.” — comment from Triumph magazine 1968 about Humanae Vitae. “….I have placed before you life and death…Oh, that you would choose life…” Deu 30:19. Let us give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever.

  46. dymphna says:

    It’s probably too late for Georgia. Their population is not growing enought to sustain themselves. Eventually, the teritory will end up as part of Russia again.

    As for overpopulation and global warming, it’s a crock. Back in the 70s the so called wise men were claiming that the earth was facing an ice age.

    As for living simply—no way. I am not a third world peasant and I do not wish to live like my great grandmother did. The good old days weren’t so good. My greatgrandmother had an outhouse and cold water hand pump. She gathered firewood and watched her farmer husband work himself into an early grave. No thanks.

  47. plisto says:

    dympnha said: As for living simply—-no way. I am not a third world peasant and I do not wish to live like my great grandmother did. The good old days weren’t so good. My greatgrandmother had an outhouse and cold water hand pump. She gathered firewood and watched her farmer husband work himself into an early grave. No thanks.

    You certainly realize that these are the conditions many people nowadays have in poorer countries?

    We are born naked. Nobody “deserves” to have more than others. We have to share. It is in the Bible, too. Something like: “if your brother goes naked and hungry and you just tell him to feed and clothe himself without giving, what he needs, and still say you love God, you are a hypocrite”

    It is our common duty to really be what we claim to be -christians.

  48. Fr J says:

    You’re still all missing the[/my] point…

    At no point did I advocate “preventing the young or the unforseen”…

    My point is this – we do not as a world seemingly have enough resources for everybody’s “necessary” means… i.e. we have not enough to go round, food, water, medical aid, etc. IF we have enough, what is preventing the redistribution of said resources i.e. not “wealth” per se, but that which is “necessary” and could be shared – is the lack of CHARITY people are expressing one to another.

    dymphna – you are expressing “self” interest by declaring that you don’t wish to experience privation of necessities compared to modern standards of living… Think about below…

    Ann – you are “so near” and yet “so far”… until you give up the idea that “what’s mine is my own” you will not truly understand or be able to express true charity… It’s not about “what I can spare” it’s about “what I can give” even to the detriment of “self”.

    Truman/Athelstane – more ore less that’s exactly my point…

    THINK… Christ died not just for those of us who would love Him but for those of us who would not – His was a “magnaminous” sacrifice – ours, in expressing charity, should be too.

    More children may equal more Catholics – but look at the last 40 years where we have increased population but decreased percentage growth in Faithful… WAKE UP! It’s attitude that needs to change.

  49. Baron Korf says:

    Anyone who thinks the world is over populated has never driven through Wyoming. The thing is the cities are crowded and skews the world view. Anyone who thinks we don’t have the means to sustain our numbers has never worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant. I personally have thrown away enough food from other people’s plates to feed a small village each day (it would be a meager meal, but a meal none the less). We in America live in such opulence that we sometimes forget how little we really need.

    Don’t knock the NFP classes, they have helped many people have children too. I know a few people who can give it that credit. The trick about it, when you really get down to the biological details, is that you can do everything correctly and yet still have a ‘fluke’ with one or more factors that leads to a pregnancy regardless. This is why it is still open to life because it requires the couple to submit to God’s will ultimately. And yes some people have bad intentions in using it, but some people have bad intentions is being so legalistic to. Not pointing fingers, just saying.

    And I wonder if Fr Z. meant some sort of pun with the title. [D'ya think? But, you know, these puns are really much ado about nothing.] Considering the name of the Shakespeare’s character and the current Pope.

  50. Robert says:

    We visited a very trad parish yesterday for Sunday Mass. The priest noticed my wife is pregnant (for the fourth time). He gave her a big hug, blessed her belly and then thanked us for bringing more children into the world.