What they are NOT saying in the Synod about REAL New Evangelization: start having babies!

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Changing demographics.

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia pray for us.

In other news, the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch in Tblisi is being credited with boosting the birth-rate in Georgia.   On LifeSite I read that the Patriarch Ilia II offered to be the godfather of children born into families that already had two or more children.   The birth rate has soared.  The Patriarch personally performed 400 baptisms in the cathedral on 6 May alone.

Doesn’t this sound like something Card. Dolan would do?

And why wasn’t Patriarch Ilia asked to speak to the Synod instead of Archbp. Rowan Williams, whose organization is bleeding members?

UPDATE:

Card. Turkson showed the filmette to the participants of the Synod.  Some of them got a little nervous. It seems they wrenched an apology from the Cardinal.

From CWN:

Cardinal Peter Turkson has apologized for screening a video about the growth of Islam in Europe for participants at the Synod of Bishops.

The YouTube video, “Muslim Demographics,” which called attention to the rise in Europe’s Muslim population, was criticized by some Synod fathers as an attack on Islam. A Vatican Radio report described the film in unsparing words, as a “fear-mongering presentation of statistics attempting to show how Islam is conquering Europe and the rest of the world.” ["fear-mongering"?  Really?]

Cardinal Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, insisted that his intention was not to denigrate Islam. “The point was to highlight the demographic situation as a result of the anti-life tendency and culture in the Western world,” he said.  [As in tell the flock to START HAVING BABIES. The shift in demographics is serious.]

“For me to attack Islam would be to attack my own family,” said that cardinal, a native of Ghana. “My paternal uncle was a Muslim and he took care of me when I was a boy, and when he grew old I took care of him until he died.”

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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31 Responses to What they are NOT saying in the Synod about REAL New Evangelization: start having babies!

  1. e.davison49 says:

    “Doesn’t this sound like something Card. Dolan would do?”

    It does! Wouldn’t that be great?

    He could start a trend for other bishops.

    That’s leadership!

  2. dmwallace says:

    Pope Benedict did say the following during his homily for the Synod opening: “There is a clear link between the crisis in faith and the crisis in marriage. And, as the Church has said and witnessed for a long time now, marriage is called to be not only an object but a subject of the new evangelization.”

  3. Father G says:

    Patriarch Ilia II is actually patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

  4. PA mom says:

    That is pure genius, divinely inspired.
    What an honor for those children and what a legacy for the Patriarch.

  5. Giuseppe says:

    I agree PA mom that these children will be an amazing legacy for the Patriarch.
    I read this in the paper and was very moved.
    We need more children here.
    More life! More life!

  6. APX says:

    This is nothing new in Canada. Further, the Muslims want Sharia Law to be legal here, but the government said no. Give it time and we’ll have Sharia Law. The federal government was looking at additional tax rebates for families to have more babies once it determined our mortality rate to birth rate ratio couldn’t sustain our population. In the meantime, they opened up the immigration flood gates. When I go shopping, I now feel like a visible minority. When I was working two summers ago, I was a visible minority.

  7. mysticalrose says:

    “. . . start having babies!”

    I’ve added 3 so far. Pray for more! :)

  8. VexillaRegis says:

    A young catholic friend with a baby boy, recently told me she was pregnant again, a surprise, hmm ;-) Of course I congratulated the beautiful couple. She said :” Oh, thanks, we are so happy, but when this one is born we are done and I’m going to ask my husband to get fixed.” I then asked why they didn’t want more children and she said “There are too many children in the world.” To which I responded ” But not too many *catholic* children! She smiled radiantly!

  9. AnnAsher says:

    There is no such thing as too many children. Only too many lazy selfish parents who refuse to properly raise their offspring.

  10. VexillaRegis says:

    @AnnAsher: Oh, I wasn’t perfectly clear, sorry, of course there aren’t too many children in the world, catholics or not! It was meant as a soft joke, to get her thinking in another way about this!

  11. solemncharge says:

    Having babies is only half of the equation. The other half is raising them to be saints. Those are the two fronts on which the culture war is being waged against Catholics.

    If every one of the church-going practicing Catholic families had on average 5 kids and raised them to be practicing Catholics (I know these are big assumptions) , in about 2 generations, there would be roughly 100 million practicing Catholics in the US – more than enough to sway the elections and the culture. Let’s get busy, Catholics :)

  12. Late for heaven says:

    Gather round ladies, we are gonna have to bite the bullet soon and review women’s liberation. More children (God bless them) means that more mommies will have to stay home and will bring back all that “woman in the kitchen-lady madonna-male patriarchy” accusations. Does anyone else remember back in the heyday of women’s lib when it was all supposed to be a CHOICE whether a woman would work or stay home? It is time to bring back some options and maybe even redefine male patriarchy so that we can give our sons, husbands and fathers a respected role in the family again.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

  13. acardnal says:

    Watch the video folks! The baby-boomers in this country decided to use artificial contraception and the result: not enough workers (young people) to pay taxes now to support their Social Security and Medicare. (did someone say $16 trillion debt and trillion dollar deficits?) And the same applies to Western Europe. They are dying as the video shows. The main reason the USA is still growing is immigration – legal and illegal.

    According to news reports, Curial Cardinal Turkson showed this video to the “New Evangelization” conference going on at this time and it caused a bit of a stir:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/cardinal-peter-turkson-muslim-scare-vatican_n_1968544.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

    This website has some wonderfully enlightening animations of this crisis:
    http://overpopulationisamyth.com/

  14. Sword40 says:

    My wife and I have contributed 7 young’n, 19 grand children and 1 great grand child. We’ve the best we could but we are tired (and old). :)

  15. Phil_NL says:

    The patriarch certainly had an inspired idea (and more effective than the Belgian tradition, where the King is godfather to every 7th boy in the family; obviously that’s a target that’s overly hard to achieve).

    But a few remarks about the arguments often made based on demographics are in order.

    1. The assertion that a lower birthrate means economic decline is just that, an assertion. Apart from huge pay-as-you-welfare systems (sadly popular in most countries in Europe, though some – like the Dutch – have at least well-funded pension plans) there’s no inherent problem. Fix the welfare system, and you can have economic growth – per capita – as long as you’re innovative. economic growth requires that there are products you can make more efficiently than the competition. Having more labor is not required for that, in fact, since necessity is often the mother of invention, it may hamper it. Yes, having a disproportionate amount of elderly is a challenge, but having a disproportionate amount of kids would be equally challenging.

    2. That the muslims have a higher birthrate is undeniable. In fact, one of the places in the world with the highest birthrate is Gaza – where the kids are sent out as suicide bombers. However, the danger is not that there would be more muslims. The danger is that there are more muslims in the West. Once you have a significant muslim minority in a democracy, the call for shariah law and associated evils will soon follow, and while the real radicals would initially be a minority of a minority, the rest of the muslim population would be very unlikely to object. So the mechanism checks out, but it isn’t the whole story. You can have a pretty radical group with high birthrates (various protestant sects over here are a great example) but still see that their share of the population remains fairly constant. Why? Cause there’s also attrition; out of 5 or 6 children, maybe 2 or 3 stick to the same pattern of life as their parents. Now with muslims, the problem usually is that brides (or husbands) are coming directly from the country of origin, thus preventing the natural attrition by giving the family a new infusion of traditional islam(ic values) – and ‘incidentally’, that includes that high birthrate. Therefore, a far more effective remedy would be to cut immigration from muslim countries. It would have a far quicker effect too, as it tackles the problem at its root.

    3. Occasionally, people will then add: but what if the muslim birthrate keeps so high, they will conquer the world? “So few of us, so many of them…”. The answer to that is best illustrated by Yemen. This country will in a few decades have 100 million inhabitants, and it will be just as poor – or poorer – as it is now. Why? Cause it lacks good government, and without good government, there’s no economic development. Without economic development, you will always loose the war, should there be one. Case in point: the Israeli’s have been able to fend off 30 times their number for decades. Again, it’s not the amount of people you have, but if you can use them as a highly skilled combat pilot or as cannon-fodder.

    4. Demographic arguments have been used to predict doom many times over. Usually, the timescale is grossly underestimated; Northern Irish protestants have been woried for decades that Catholics would have more children and force unification. Still hasn’t happened, and probably won’t be for the next half century or more, if ever. It’s the one serious quibble I have with Mark Steyn – demography isn’t destiny. It would be if everything else were constant, but it never is – if only because people figure out ways to do the same with less people.

    Now all of this doesn’t mean promoting births among Catholics is a bad thing, far from it. And I certainly don’t want to underestimate the dangers inherent in islam. (I’ve posted on that here before, in other threads; islam is the one major threat to civilization). But bad arguments sooner or later come back to haunt you. In any battle, it’s not how many you have, but how you use those resources you do posses. The proper argument would therefore, IMHO, be that more kids are good in and of themselves rather than as utilitarian instruments to ward of an enemy (real enough, but by bogus means)

  16. Johnno says:

    Everyone must watch this documentary ‘DEMOGRAPHIC WINTER’ and pass it around! Even Muslim Immigration will not halt the long term danger that is coming upon everyone.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jxUD8E-qbyI

  17. Phil_NL says:

    Oh, and as a PS: it’s interesting to see how the numbers in the video are both correct and hugely off.

    They’re correct (of sorts, a bit of extrapolation is used as well) in terms of the amount of newborns being muslim. They’re woefully (and thankfully) off the mark in the percentage of the population that’s muslim. In the Netherlands, it’s 6%. To gain a majority, and assuming twice the birthrate of the rest of the population, and a new generation just every 25 years, it would still take till the dawn of the 22nd century to have a muslim majority. Demography by birthrate moves slowly.

    And then, one may ask, why did the muslim population explode so dramatically over the past 40 years? Answer: immigration – the demographic change that instantaniously, rather than generational.

  18. Johnno says:

    Phil_NL:

    1. The assertion that a lower birthrate means economic decline is just that, an assertion.

    - It is true given certain factors are also true. The constancy must be 2.5 with room for some fluctuation understandably enough. But consistent dropping population decline will have a serious toll on the economy. Which as you say will require ‘innovative ingenuity’ to manage. So obviously that hope that some ‘innovation’ comes about because of the cause of economic problems in the first place. And you can bet that ‘innovative’ way of dealing with the problem will be Western Governments restricting human rights, promoting euthanasia to deal with the elderly problem, and moving towards more control and leaning more towards Communist solutions as the solution. Is that what you want? Obviously not, but it is the ‘easy’ solution our Western Governments would rather follow. The future will likely not be governed by Islam, but a desperate move towards Communism.

    2. That the muslims have a higher birthrate is undeniable.

    - True, but the Muslims are also in the habit of favoring boys over girls and will soon enough encounter the same problems as India and China, where there is a disproportionate number of men versus women, which will limit their growth quite ironically. Not to mention that immigration to the West is also of a disproportionate number of men. Soon the West will likewise face a disproportionate number of men over women, and likewise the birthrates will see severe declines. A bitter irony that the championing of ‘Women’s Rights to abortion’ as a ‘triumph for women’ is slowly seeing women disappear off the face of the earth.

    3. It lacks good government, and without good government, there’s no economic development. Without economic development, you will always loose the war, should there be one. Case in point: the Israeli’s have been able to fend off 30 times their number for decades. Again, it’s not the amount of people you have, but if you can use them as a highly skilled combat pilot or as cannon-fodder.

    - True, but ‘good government’ for the West increasingly means consolidating power and turning to Communist ideology to control the people by taking away basic rights. Also you’d be assuming in the example that Israel will be economically able to continue a long drawn out war by keeping its population numbers steady. If it too faces similar problems, then it will hamper its efforts to have young men to fight in the future. Likewise, if allied countries like the U.S. for example become Islamic for arguments sake, Israel will be isolated and greater numbers will overcome them in the long run, as well the Muslims can be just as innovative and organized when they want to be. The recent embassy attacks didn’t happen at random and America, the supposed better equipped, better governed forces are on the defensive in Afghanistan, and likewise the Arab Spring didn’t work out the way they were hoping. To assume that the Islamic nations can never be organized to have good governance, or rather, better military might, is a gamble. If we can ascribe ‘innovative poitential’ to ourselves to deal with such problems, that likewise applies to them. Who knows?

    4. Demographic arguments have been used to predict doom many times over. Usually, the timescale is grossly underestimated

    - This is true. Humanity will never always behave the way the staticians and mathematicians who draw the curve graphs predict. People’s behaviors and beliefs are major driving forces these folks ignore. Not to mention God exists and He’s got His own plans.

    I recommend checking out the documentary ‘Demographic Winter’ in my previous post. Islamic population growth is a short term thing that will inevitably have them facing the same problems brought up in the documentary as the family erodes and depression sets in.

  19. Katheryn says:

    My 4th child went to Heaven last July before he was born. This was conclusive proof to me that God is in complete control.
    Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!
    St. Gerard Majella, pray for us!

  20. jflare says:

    Weeeeeeeeeeellllllll……
    In a certain sense, the video DOES make plain why academia and culture “elites” have exercised such a passionate loathing for Judeo-Christian principles, but tend toward being welcoming toward Islam. Judeo-Christian influence in the West has allowed itself to be severely compromised in most of the ways that have any meaning. Islamic influence, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to be much more..tolerant..of violence aimed at getting your way.

    Secularists and others may be insulting, ignorant, and hateful, but they’re not stupid enough to intentionally alienate an opposing group that may be willing to inflict bloodshed to get their way.

    Sometimes the human instinct for self-preservation has very surprising consequences.

  21. amfortas says:

    There is much that is true here and it’s difficult to disagree with the general thrust. However, some of the statistics are open to question and the claim that there are more mosques than churches in southern France are just plain wrong. The case is not won by saying things that are not true.

  22. pmullane says:

    Phil_NL

    Thank you for your considered and enlightening comments, if I can offer a modest reply:

    “out of 5 or 6 children, maybe 2 or 3 stick to the same pattern of life as their parents. Now with muslims, the problem usually is that brides (or husbands) are coming directly from the country of origin, thus preventing the natural attrition by giving the family a new infusion of traditional islam(ic values) – and ‘incidentally’, that includes that high birthrate. Therefore, a far more effective remedy would be to cut immigration from muslim countries. It would have a far quicker effect too, as it tackles the problem at its root.”

    If only that were the problem though. Unfortunately rather than assimmilating, Muslims in Western Europe tend to ghettoise, then radicalise. The experience here in the UK is more that first generation immigrants try to assimmilate, learn the language and try and adapt their religious beliefs and values to the host country’s values, and their children demand acceptance and imposition on the host culture of their (increasingly radial) religious beliefs. There are many reasons for this, and western culture is far from blameless, but these are the facts and unfortunately stopping all immigration alone will not solve the problem.

    “Without economic development, you will always loose the war, should there be one. Case in point: the Israeli’s have been able to fend off 30 times their number for decades. Again, it’s not the amount of people you have, but if you can use them as a highly skilled combat pilot or as cannon-fodder.”

    Again you are correct, but only if a) there is a war; and b) if the west is willing to fight it. What I mean is there need be no ‘war’ between muslims and westerners, at current rates muslims will be able to impose their will through democratic means. Also, you can have teh most sophisticated weaponry and highly skilled soldiers in the world, unless you are willing to use them you will be defeated by a barbarian with a stick, as can be seen in Afghanistan.

    “Northern Irish protestants have been woried for decades that Catholics would have more children and force unification. Still hasn’t happened, and probably won’t be for the next half century or more, if ever. It’s the one serious quibble I have with Mark Steyn – demography isn’t destiny. It would be if everything else were constant, but it never is – if only because people figure out ways to do the same with less people”

    Again yes and no. Demography is destiny, but it depends what kind of people you are turning out. America has huge numbers of self identified ‘catholics’, and should therefore be a country where abortion is unheard of, and where the government would not dare to try and restrict the religious freedom of the Church by forcing her to pay for gravely immoral abortifaecent drugs. However this is not the case. Why? because all these ‘catholics’ were secularised. The salt has ceased to be salty. So really America isnt a nation full of ‘catholics’ ‘protestants’ or ‘jews’, its a nation half full of secularists who may have some religious affilliation, but who dont take the difficult doctrines seriously. Muslims on the other hand have gone the other direction, more radical, more strict, and if more muslims are more strict, and there are more of them, I submit they will be less Joe Biden and more Abu Hamza. Your right, everything else isnt constant, but sometimes they are getting worse rather than getting better. PS, I think Steyn and you wouldnt disagree on this if you define it down a little. N.Ireland isnt the best example of this, because A) Cathiolics became secular there; B) it was never so much a Catholic/Protestant thing, insofar as it was never anything inimical to Catholicism that Ireland became united, and most people want to get on with their own lives than worry so much about who their head of state is; and C) After 30 years of 2 sides randomly killing one another, most of the political will was to make the carnage stop, rather than to decide unification or seperation one way or the other.

    Finally (and I’ve commented too much already), it may be that Muslims will take a while before they make up 50+1 % of the population, however they dont need to be before government starts having to accommodate them. For example, if there was a strong Muslim minority, even an election tilting one, in Ohio or Florida, do you think that would influence the actions of presidents or presidential candidates that need to win those vital swing states?

  23. Christine says:

    My husband and I are doing our part! 8 children here 2 in Heaven with the possibility of more (pray for us). All are homeschooled and a couple of the older ones are attending faithful Catholic U’s.

  24. acardnal says:

    I agree with johnno and highly recommend the dvd “Demographic Winter” and “Demographic Bomb”. The data comes at you fast but with a dvd you can pause and replay to let the material sink in. They interview some very notorious scientists including Paul Erhlich who wrote “The Population Bomb” in 1970 as I recall. None of his forecasts were true.

  25. Phil_NL says:

    @Johnno

    Sorry, but you mean to say that because there will be more elderly, there will be euthanasia and communism? Get real. If those disaster scenarios get any traction at all it will be because the people who vote choose for these evil options. They can do so just as well under a regima of population growth (here in the Netherlands, we do have legalized euthanasia, for starters, and we do have population growth at the same time). Leftist ‘solutions’ are bad under any demographic conditions, are about equally likely too.

    @pmullane

    Thanks for your kind words. allow me a brief point-by-point reply:

    * ghettoisation and (subsequent radicalisation) certainly poses an additional problem, but circumstances differ from country to country. If fact, I’d say that the Dutch experience is different from what you describe. Here, the first generation – mainly immigrated in the 70s – did not make much of an effort to assimilate (or even integrate). For at least a decade, the general thought among natives and immigrants alike was that in time, they’d go back. The second generation grew up here (though a sizeable part was still born in the country of origin, families reunited later), and therefore managed a bit better economically, though not much. Focus was mainly on getting by. Yet the third generation (and late second generation) is the one turning away and against western society. But I see little evidence of them dragging their elders with them, as these youths are generally moving in their own world, without much parental control or interaction. And they may radicalise without any ghetto-isation at all; they may even live in somewhat more middle-class areas. What is key is the influence of the internet. These youths radicalise based on their – often online – social networks. But often the spider in the web of such a network is a recent immigrant, for example trained with Saudi money. Milage may vary, but continued immigration also is a factor. Moreover since in many cases their mothers are themselves first generation immigrants, so that any mitigating influence from the parents is rare.
    Also, not only the process is somewhat different, there are also influences based on the country of origin. UK muslims tend to be mainly from Bangladesh and Pakistan; on the continent it’s more often Turkey, Marocco and (in case of France in particular) Algeria. Subtle differences (for example the tendency to regularly return to the country of origin) may result.
    In all, you do need tailored solutions. I believe that stopping immigration is the first point of the agenda, but you’re right that this doesn’t necessarily halt radicalisation of those already here (though it may decrease). Problem is: changing the relative proportions in the population won’t do anything either on the radicalisation front. Dealing with that requires either getting these people out of islam, or out of the country. And either of those two courses would entail a big danger of unsavory government policy.

    * Which brings us to willingness to fight. I don’t share the idea that westerns are ultimately unwilling to fight. Now yes, but if their very freedoms are under direct, imminent threat, in their own homes? That’s unchartered territory. In fact, I fear they day when that will change, cause then the resulting struggle will be bloody and inane. Much better is to act before it gets that far, but there’s the rub. We may not be able to turn the tide before the necessary remedies take on an ugly form. But a war in Afghanistan is a wholly different proposition than one in one’s own front yard.

    * Finally, your last two points: it cuts both ways. You don’t need 50%+1 to bring about societal change, that’s certainly true. See for example the gay lobby; with only a small percentage of the population being activist gays, they still influence the entire society. But two can play that game, and it also means that we don’t need 50%+1 if we play our cards carefully. On the one hand you would need to stop the muslim radicalisation, but – and in this we agree, it seems – on the other hand you need to increase the faithfulness of the Catholics. Which, coming back to the original issue, would in itself change the demographic situation – and, contrary to a focus purely on the demographic, would result in more faithful Catholics rather than merely more secularized ones.

  26. RichR says:

    I say the future is bright for Catholics who embrace the fullness of the faith- including the truths about marriage and fertility. Contraception kills cultures.

  27. totustuusmaria says:

    “Continued migration will swell the ranks of Europe’s Muslim minorities by one-third by 2030, to 8 percent of the region’s inhabitants from 6 percent, it said

    “Muslims in France will rise to 6.9 million, or 10.3 percent of the population, from 4.7 million (7.5 percent), in Britain to 5.6 million (8.2 percent) from 2.9 million and in Germany to 5.5 million (7.1 percent) from 4.1 million (5 percent).

    “The Muslim share of the U.S. population will grow from 0.8 percent in 2010 to 1.7 percent in 2030, “making Muslims roughly as numerous as Jews or Episcopalians are in the United States today,” the study said.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/27/us-muslims-population-idUSTRE70Q12D20110127

  28. Johnno says:

    Phil_NL says:
    “Sorry, but you mean to say that because there will be more elderly, there will be euthanasia and communism? Get real.”

    No, it is only one factor in a complex issue regarding world stability. Most of the negative population growth numbers can be rooted in overpopulation fearmongering that was used to promote contraceptive and abortion solutions. Likewise, the dangers of too many elderly and not enough young to support the social welfare institutions with tax dollars means that euthanasia will be a very real topic that governments will push through as part of a solution, which means that like contraceptivea and abortion, it will be part and parcel of the solution campaign. And I guarantee you that when the medical field is also fully socialized by government, they will decide who lives and who dies by who is entiteld to medical treatment. Already whistle blowers have been raising alarms as to where hospitals and doctors and taking free advantage of killing off the elderly and comatose and brain dead on their own initiative.

    Finally, with this and other economic concerns, particularly if we’ve got another World War ahead of us the way thigns are shaping up, in order for the country to remain stable and for resources to be fed through the proper channels, governments will take away civil rights through executive decisions and power grabbing that will take way rights, property, and use the citizens for forced labor if deemed necessary, and the right to euthanize the non-workers if they are a leech on the fragile system meaning that Western Governments will be effectively Communist with a thin veneer of democratic choice that won’t really amount to much of a difference. That power will not be relinquished.

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  30. rhhenry says:

    I’m a father of four (three born, one unborn) and am thereby blessed beyond belief (literally: I cannot believe that God has given me — me! — the wife and children that He has). However, we are “having babies” not because of demographics, but because of a vocation to parenthood.

    The demographic argument may be correct, but the rhetoric makes me a bit uneasy. Anybody care to help me out?

  31. rhhenry says:

    Oh, I forgot to add — toSword40: You. Rock.