A People-Hating, Earth-Worshiping Catholic Priest
Father William Grimm, the publisher of the Tokyo-based UCANews, objected to a question in the survey distributed by the Vatican to the world’s bishops in preparation for the Synod meeting of 2014: “How can an increase in births be promoted?” Father Grimm argued that the question “stands out for its breathtaking irresponsibility.”
Arguing that the force of human population has strained the earth’s resources, Father Grimm said that the Church should encourage family planning. He remarked that this could be done without violating the Church’s ban on artificial contraceptives, by recommending natural family planning.
Are they serious? There are already seven billion people on the planet and we continue to increase. Resources are being depleted. Other species of animals as well as plants are being driven to extinction by the pressure of human numbers.
Global warming results from the burning of fossil fuels to provide power for living, transportation and manufacture. The increased demand for power means increasing reliance upon dangerous nuclear power. Air, water and soil are being degraded. Food shortages occur in precisely those areas with the greatest population pressure. People are driven to live in urban slums in a search of a livelihood.
Children are born, but die before getting a chance to live in much more than a biological sense. Malnutrition and the diseases of poverty cripple others. Social, health and educational services are inadequate to ensure a truly human life. Crowding increases crime, unrest, oppression, war and a general uglification of the human environment.
Yes, there are parts of the world where the population is declining. I live in one of them. But, to be Catholic means to consider the whole world as home and to take each and all of the world’s people into account as brothers and sisters.
To speak of human births as simply a matter of multiplying people without responsibly dealing with what that multiplication means for those people and God’s world is to speak like an animal breeder. The Church must be concerned with people as the children of God, not with numbers.
But on the other hand, if people at the Vatican really think we should be increasing the number of births, perhaps one way to do so might be for them to abandon the requirement of celibacy for the clergy.