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Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo Wikimedia Commons
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‘Words fail me:’ Pro-life leader reacts to population control advocates speaking at Vatican conference

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

March 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican hosting population control advocates at a conference is "such a departure from the solid, orthodox teaching [of] the two previous popes," a pro-life leader who has spent decades fighting the "myth" of overpopulation told LifeSiteNews.

Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, told LifeSiteNews that the Pontifical Academy of Sciences shouldn't be surprised that speakers at its Biological Extinction conference, which included the pro-abortion "father" of the population control movement and supporters of contraception, espoused anti-Catholic views.

"This is what you get if you invite secular humanists to speak at a Catholic conference," said Mosher. "You get a secular humanist perspective, which is to say, if you think that human beings – men – are nothing but animals, then it’s perfectly alright to thin the herd." This is done "on the pretense that there’s not enough in the way of resources to support the existing herd."

And "they propagate their myth of overpopulation," said Mosher.

During one part of the conference, the Population Council's John Bongaarts' claimed that there is a worldwide "unmet need" for contraception.

"You have these numbers based on surveys where you go into countries and you ask women, ‘Have you had a child in the last two years?’" Mosher explained. "And if they say yes, then you ask them a second question: ‘Are you using a modern method of contraception?’ By which they mean an abortifacient pill, an IUD, condoms, Depo Provera, or other methods. And if they say no, then they have an ‘unmet need for contraception.’"

Such surveys "assume that because [women have] had a baby in the last two years and because they’re not using a modern method of contraception, that they need contraception," said Mosher. They "are designed to produce pre-determined outcomes."

Vatican bishop 'fails to understand why God created the Earth and human beings in the first place'

During a discussion portion of the conference, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo said "we don't know exactly" what the Church teaches about procreation, and "education" will help women have one or two children instead of "seven."

Sorondo is the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Sorondo "has spent his adult life – most of his adult life – in a country, Argentina, where the politicians for the last century have repeatedly, periodically destroyed the economy," said Mosher. They've done this "by periodically inflating the currency and destroying the middle class and the middle class savings and the middle class assets. So he has no idea how an economy should be run. He has no idea that a thriving, free market economy needs people. And that ... people are the ultimate resource – the one resource you cannot do without."

Mosher continued, "For anybody who is a bishop in the Catholic Church – God help us all – who doesn’t understand the first commandment given our first parents to be fruitful and multiply, has never been rescinded and instead argues for people not to be generous in having children I think fails to understand why God created the Earth and human beings in the first place."

"Silence implies assent," he said. "For him to hear contraceptives praised and promoted and not immediately contradict that position by stating what the position of the Church is makes him complicit in the misinformation that follows."

Mosher said Sorondo was perhaps trying to be polite to his pro-contraception and pro-abortion guests.

"Maybe he should’ve invited different guests [who don’t] contradict Church teaching," Mosher suggested. "Or maybe it was cowardice, that he wasn’t prepared to speak what the Church’s teaching was" to a hostile audience. "Whatever the motive, I think it sends exactly the wrong message."

'Such a rupture from the consistent teaching of the Church'

This conference "takes us very far away from the views of both Pope John Paul II and the views of Pope Benedict," said Mosher. "Pope John Paul II was very clear in his condemnation in Evangelium Vitae of artificial methods of contraception. He reaffirmed and underlined the importance of Humanae Vitae."

The conference missed the most crucial element of the Catholic view on environmentalism, Mosher said. 

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI "said that we must never forget that man is at the center of the environment, and if we’re protecting the environment we must protect men," said Mosher. "Where in that formulation can you justify deliberately frustrating the will of God to bring another soul into existence between a man and a woman who are united in marriage? Where in that formulation can you have people come forward and argue that the population of the Earth should be rapidly reduced? I find it such a departure from the solid, orthodox teaching from the two previous popes."

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The ideas expressed at this conference were "such a rupture from the consistent teaching of the Church over the centuries of man as a pinnacle of creation," said Mosher. Listening to them, "you would think that man and bacteria have equal moral status."

"You hear these things at Stanford University, where I was and where I taught human biology for a time. You hear them at Berkeley, you hear them at Harvard, you hear them at Yale. You do not expect to hear them in the Vatican at a conference convened by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences," he said.

Mosher called it "disturbing" that one might not be able to "differentiate" between the presentations at the Biological Extinction conference and "a seminar at Stanford."

"The light show on St. Peter’s façade was revolting enough, but to allow people who believe in this false gospel of radical environmentalism and radical population control [to] express … these ideas without being contradicted, without any hint of dispute," is horrifying, said Mosher. "To have the Vatican itself provide a forum to propagate these falsehoods, it’s just ... I’m rarely lost for words, but words fail me."

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