The world must be peopled.

There was a lot of controversy in Rome when the Mosque was under construction.  

I recall during that period hearing a translation of an Imam’s Friday sermon during which he said: "If we could not win with the long sword, we will win by the short sword."

He went on to exhort men to "take their women away" and "breed".

The birth rate in Italy then was very low.   It is rising now, I believe, but not because Italians are having children.  Italians in Italy are aborting and contracepting themselves out of their own home… out of existence.

This story comes from the New York Daily News.  My emphases and comments.

Catholic priest urges European Christians to fight off Islam by having babies

BY Meena Hartenstein

A prominent Catholic priest wants European Christians to fight off Islam with a unique weapon: babies.

Father Piero Gheddo, an Italian missionary priest, said Wednesday he believes a declining birth rate among Europeans combined with a rising tide of Muslim immigrants could mean that Islam will soon dominate Europe[It’s not rocket science.  Europeans aren’t having babies.  Islamic immigrants are having lots of babies.  How is this hard?]

"Certainly from a demographic point of view, as it is clear to everyone that Italians are decreasing by 120,000 or 130,000 persons a year because of abortion and broken families; while among the more than 200,000 legal immigrants a year in Italy, more than half are Muslims and Muslim families, which have a much higher level of growth," he said, according to Rome’s Catholic news service Zenit News Agency.

Gheddo’s solution? Christians need to start having more children.

"The fact is that, as a people, we are becoming ever more pagan and the religious vacuum is inevitably filled by other proposals and religious forces," he said. "If we consider ourselves a Christian country, we should return to the practice of Christian life, which would also solve the problem of empty cradles."

Father Gheddo is a well-respected member of the Vatican’s Pontificial [sic] Institute for Foreign Missionaires.

His comments were made in response to Libyan chief of state Moammar Khadafy, who said this week that Europe should convert to Islam.

Khadafy, on an official visit to Italy, laced his speech with controversial remarks, such as, "Tomorrow Europe might no longer be European, and even black, as there are millions who want to come in."

"We don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions," Khadafy added, before handing out free copies of the Koran.

Incensed that Muslims could one day outnumber Christians in Europe, Gheddo vowed to bring more attention to the issue.

The media hasn’t "seriously taken into consideration how to respond to this challenge of Islam," he said, "which sooner or later will conquer the majority in Europe."

Gheddo intends to change that.

"The challenge must be taken seriously," he said.

It sounds as if he is on target.   That is what is happening in Europe.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Wayne NYC says:

    While we’re on the topic of lost ground…
    very quietly yesterday in Berkeley, California
    Islam opened its first College and welcomed its
    freshman class. I’m sure it will maintain it’s
    religious identity…..unlike so many “catholic’
    institutions. Nature abhors a vacuum .

  2. trentecoastal39 says:

    It Will Be,A Big Headache for The Birth Control Movement(Sigh)!

  3. Gail F says:

    According to John Allen’s book “Future Church,” Muslims in Europe have the fastest-falling birthrate in the world. Apparently Europe is sucking the will to live out of them, too. As a 40-something woman who (in part because of being raised to be “responsible”) has only two children, I have seen so many of the people I went to college with have no children at all. Our culture, whether one is being “responsible” or “irresponsible,” does not encourage procreation. Europe must be so much worse.

    If you’re a younger married reader, have more children! All the stuff in the world is not better than children, and the families I know who have more than 2 lack “stuff,” but their kids are still great. They have all their adult lives to get stuff of their own.

  4. Re: European Muslim low birthrates

    Given all the inbreeding and horrible birth defects encouraged by the Islamic culture of keeping the money and the genes inside the clan, and given all the unpleasant family relations that are likewise encouraged by their system, I’m not surprised if young Muslims don’t want to marry and don’t want to have kids. The influence of getting to spend all your money on yourself is just the horrible icing on that cake.

    What’s surprising is that non-Muslims still aren’t having babies.

  5. Jack Hughes says:

    As much as I hate Europe’s secularized culture one beneficial spin-off is that besides the odd muslim who takes his religion seriously a lot of muslims in england are just as bad as their Catholic counterparts; I knew a ‘muslim’ guy in school who was half scottish, half Iraqi who could drink and fornicate with the best of them.

  6. Eoin Suibhne says:

    This reminds me of a humorous anecdote. A few months ago I was at a meeting of Catholic school administrators and parent volunteers. At one point the attendees were asked how our schools were addressing “enrollment management strategies.” I answered, “Fertile parents.”

  7. TJerome says:

    I guess Paul VI has been vindicated in promulgating Humanae Vitae

  8. Leonius says:

    Perhaps if the Church finally got round to explaining what exactly falls under the category of serious reasons that can justify using NFP to avoid pregnancy things might improve because right now we have a situation were Catholics are using NFP to restrict the number of children they have and think they are fine and good because they use the Church endorsed form of contraception.

    This lack of definition is the gaping hole in Humane Vitae which undermines the effect of the whole document.

  9. Jason Keener says:

    It’s interesting to note that Muslim leaders like Khadafy and Ahmadinejad have no qualms about mentioning Islam in public, yet the leaders of Europe won’t even acknowledge Europe’s Christian roots. Catholics have to once again proclaim the rights of Christ the King over both private and public affairs. Until we see Catholics live both their private and public lives in accord with the Catholic Faith, we will see little change in Europe for the good.

  10. Andrew says:

    Leonius: Re: “Perhaps if the Church finally got round to explaining what exactly falls under the category of serious reasons that can justify using NFP to avoid pregnancy …”

    NFP is based on abstinence. The Church does not have to explain anything about that: married couples can abstain all they want to. They don’t even need a reson to do so. There is no obligation to not abstain. There is no “gaping hole” in Humanae Vitae. Some people claim that NFP is the equipvalent of a “catholic contraception” but they are wrong. Where there is no action, there can be no moral judgement. One who contracepts commits a sin. One who uses NPF doesn’t do anything so there can be no sin in the absence of an act.

  11. therecusant says:


    Do you really think the misuse of NFP is to blame? My wife is an OB-GYN and practices in a group with thousands of Catholics. About 1% use NFP. The rest use artificial birth control. I don’t think there is any doubt that that is the much larger problem. In our diocese, the NFP class, which I think is taken by the overwhelming number of people who use NFP, is explicit in its material that it is not simply Catholic birth control. The program is much better than that. Maybe your experience has been different.

    I don’t know anyone who uses NFP that doesn’t take the Church’s teaching on sexuality seriously, and who doesn’t have at least 4-5 children when their child-bearing days are over. I’m sure there are some who “misuse” NFP and would have otherwise had 6-8 kids, but they are still having children well above the replacement rate. While they certainly need to be better instructed, they are in a much different place than those using artificial contraception.


    You might want to go back and check the sources on NFP. Married people cannot “abstain all they want to” without reason. And there is sin absent acts – they are called sins of omission.

  12. Jason Keener says:

    Unfortunately, some Catholics use NFP with a contraceptive mentality and avoid having children for selfish reasons. Married couples cannot automatically abstain all they want from sexual relations but must have a truly serious reason to abstain. God commanded us to be fruitful and to multiply. The sacrament of marriage is intended for the procreation of children, and a couple that avoids having children, even through the use of NFP, must do so only for serious reasons.

  13. Leonius says:

    I know that direct misuse of NFP is to blame in some circumstances from numerous conversations with people who tell me it is ok to use NFP for things like not wanting a child until they finish their education, or because they want to both work or that they already feel they have enough children and don’t want any more.

    The ambiguity surrounding NFP also provides cover for those who use ABC.

    The Church must stop just condemning ABC and condemn the contraceptive mentality itself.

  14. Andrew says:


    “Married people cannot “abstain all they want to” without reason.”

    Yes they can. There have been holy couples and some canonized who practiced abstinence, some permanently. And a sin of omission can take place only if there is an obligation, but there is no obligation to copulate. It is a ridiculous notion: how would you confess it? “Father forgive me but I failed to copulate three times this month?” —- Say whaaaat?

  15. catholicmidwest says:

    Westerners are stupid, and I’m a Westerner. It about kills me to watch it. I don’t know how this is going to end. Maybe not well.

  16. JonM says:


    I think the issue here is intent.

    In years past, some couples had a special calling within marriage, to better glorify God through self control and countenance. This was not the norm for married people, who were, are, and will be called to procreate except in directly grave circumstances (e.g., another child will cause starvation, the four horsemen are lose, etc…things most of us don’t contend with.)

    I have heard time after time NFP pitched directly as ‘have fewer kids- the Catholic way.’. In my view, this is why almost all Catholics ignore it: the contraceptive mentality is in line with the pill pushers, and adds uncomfortable ickiness to Mass (mucous checks anyone?)

    It would seem a misuse of NFP when someone has the money to have multiple new cars, a suburban home, and dine at restaurants.

    Until the Church hammers home what marriage is, its importance, and all its qualities (patriarchal, for procreation, and for mutual comfort), we can expect a cascade in not just childless couples, but lack of married couples altogether.

  17. raitchi2 says:

    Perhaps this priest could lead the way by setting an example. Remember preach aways and use words when necessary.

  18. muckemdanno says:

    The Great Patrick J Buchanan hit this ball out of the ballpark about 10 years ago with his bestseller “The Death of the West”

    You all should read it…he was waaaaaay ahead of the curve!

  19. mike cliffson says:

    Andrew, leonius, many others:

    Put God first.
    I have only been married once.I seem to remember being told to ” responsibly accept the children GOD gave us”
    How important is this for the saving of anyone’s soul, dirently and indirectly?
    I wouldn’t like to even try to guess, I’m too proud, hence judgemental,too great a sinner myself.
    For living as a christian in society, for christendom as was and will be in this world, for the church to be a beacon to society, to Man, all nations, shining out with Jesus Christ’s love ?
    The sacrament of marriage-
    Full marriage-
    Right in there with the utter essentials.
    ( by comparison: would you WANT a half ordained priest? half-way house baptism with flyspray protection only from lucifer? communion you could give a dog? Masses that were actually as much less the mass as their celebration sometimes implies? Confession that only pardoned your sins a little bit? Last rites that equally ensure your reincarnation as a cockroach? ETC. Point taken?)
    Sure,I too sin by being a 1+bit hr/week Christian, but we’re called to 24/7.
    Pace G.Orwell,When you sin, it’s much to know you’re sinning.
    Of course, compared to our ghastly social disfunction and culture of Death,NFP is tame, in itself, nuetral even.
    But we live in a contraceptive culture , it’s hard to realize how much of it WE rationalize into NFP, even when it isn’t sold as OK/Catholic contraception.
    And the church itself is full of such rationalizations!
    (My “favourite”, from good, very good, selfless saintly 24/7 catholcs, a priest present, was that our 4th was only OK because we had- then – a 4 bedroom home.
    Otherwise we should have avoided her?
    Perhaps we should have strangled her when we had to move into a threebed?
    How dare they!How dare we!
    How much damage has been done to three generations of kids in the west by saying they come not from GOD but from whim, that they OWE their perfect parents: kids know it, you know.
    I’m no better- I took this as axiomatic myself, once)

    For a very good coupla posts on concraceptive culture in NFP (hattip ttony at the muniment room blog)

    Hell shouldn’t be our basic motivation , but if our lady at fatima discerned we need reminding that’s enough for me.
    mutatis mutandis
    If it helps one start reflecting on grave and serious reasons, indeed, then contemplating the alternatives of aging dying sociey or islamic culture, start contemplating already, no blinkers.Take a Looooong look: they’re coming!

    doing god’s will, however haphazardly , weakly, and sinnfuly, brings blessings, material blessings, too. Heaven awaits, but there’s foretastes here, not grimth.
    Such as a fuller more complete more fulfilling “marriage experience” (Ghastly terminology, but still!)
    Children are a blessing.
    We’re picky on material blessings? Lor’ luvva duck!
    If NFP beats the world aces and spades, having a full god’s gift -his quiverful might= zero, count no chickens, – is n times better.In this life, already.
    I know.

  20. Andrew says:


    Here we are touching on the subject of zeal. One person might give away everything he has to the poor. Another will give away half of all his possessions. It is better to give more, but it is not right to condemn the one who gave less. The Church values virginity and celibacy but she does not condemn those who live in the state of holy matrimony. You cannot legislate charity. Married couples have the right to engage in marital acts and they have the right to abstain from them. NFP respects those rights. I understand the argument in favor of being generous in accepting children, but one should not fall into the error of imputing sin where there is none or of mandating something where freedom is required. Overzealous people sooner or later fall into some sectarian trap.

  21. mike cliffson says:

    I’m sorry to attack your comment, but Fr Z permitting, I must.
    Your expressions:
    Married couples have a right to.. or not to.
    Civil Rights re Ceasar perhaps.
    But isn’t talk of “rights” all about me me me, even in combo as US?
    You will I expect accept that an unborn baby has the right to live.
    What about the “rights?” of the kids we would ve had in God’s plan for us ? Again we were told publicly at our wedding to collaborate with God’s plans for humanity, nor did we expect to be told otherwise.
    Or God don’t got no plans for us to try to discern and collaborate with?
    And that sentence!”The church values../..holy matrimony”
    This may be from a catholic source. I hope not.Less still standing alone.
    Because I had 7 years with high anglicans, and holy matrimony is their phrase, and for them , whatever it IS, a sacrament it isn’t.(See tudors , luther, 19th cent, etc)
    Ok , zeal may be a trap.If you say so.
    What about satisfaction: I’ve done my bit, Im not a saint, so that’s ok.
    God he knoweth the mountains of MY sins of omision and pride.But I, I suspect most of us, need to be aware of some of them.
    let’s not fall into sectarian traps.
    If the fruit’s so marvellous, how come the church is being sucked into the same black hole as wider Christendom

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