Holy See to UN: Fertility Shouldn't Be Feared

Points to Flawed Population Control Policies

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NEW YORK, APRIL 13, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations is challenging the erroneous view that human fertility and population growth is something to be feared.

Archbishop Francis Chullikatt stated this Tuesday in an address to the 44th Session of the Commission on Population and Development in a meeting on "Fertility, Reproductive Health and Development."

He noted, "Unfortunately many discussions in the present day continue to be led by a false notion that, in the context of population growth, the very act of giving life is something to be feared rather than affirmed."

"Such thinking is based on a radical individualism," the prelate said, "which sees human reproduction as a commodity that must be regulated and improved in order to encourage greater market efficiency and development."

He continued: "How can such a view be consistent with the objectives of the United Nations? Put most candidly, it cannot."

The archbishop asserted that "this flawed understanding leads to the distorted view that population growth, especially among the poor, must be decreased in order to address poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition."

"It is also based upon the consistently disproven theory that population increase will devastate the environment, lead to global competition and confrontation for resources and undermine the ability of women to interact fully with society," he said.

Human sexuality

"These apprehensions contribute to the advancement of forms of reproductive technology which denigrate the nature of human sexuality," Archbishop Chullikatt noted.

He observed that "the combination of these misconceptions have led some national governments to adopt laws and policies which discourage parents from exercising their fundamental and non-derogable right to have children free of coercion and which even make it illegal for mothers to give birth in some cases or for a child to have one's own brothers and sisters."

The prelate urged, "Instead of focusing political and financial resources on efforts to reduce the number of poor persons through methods which trivialize marriage and the family and deny the very right to life of unborn children, let us instead focus these resources on providing the promised development assistance to the approximately 920 million people living on less than $1.25 per day."

He continued: "Let us feed the nearly 1 billion people who are malnourished, and let us provide skilled birth attendants at every birth to reduce the incidents of maternal and child morality.

"Let us achieve our promise of providing primary education to the 69 million children who risk becoming another generation without such basic assistance."

The archbishop concluded, "These children of today will be the citizens of tomorrow who have much to contribute to the welfare and common good of all."

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On ZENIT's Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-32314?l=english