The above link will take you to an article that really has nothing to do with this subject, but it got me to thinking: If the Catholic Church can be so progressive in its thinking on a subject like the existence of extraterrestrials, why can’t it apply the same logic to a subject much closer to home – the subject of overpopulation and birth control? As you may or may not know, the Catholic Church is opposed to all forms of birth control with the exception of the “rhythm” method. Why? They believe that birth control thwarts the will of God if it is His will that the couple conceive a child. They allow use of the rhythm method (timing intercourse to occur when the female is at a point in her cycle when she is much less likely to conceive) because it is very unreliable and leaves open the possibility of conception.
The Catholic Church has the potential to have tremendous impact on the subjects of overpopulation and population management. True, many Catholics simply ignore the Church’s position on birth control, but there are still many who adhere. It is out of fear of reaction by religious voters that our nation’s leaders avoid this subject like the plague. Imagine the possibilities if the Church were to change its position.
In the linked article, the Reverend Joseph Gabriel Funes, head of the Vatican Observatory and a science advisor to the pope, says of the possibility of extraterrestrials:
“Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can’t put limits on God’s creative freedom,” …
Father Funes goes on to discuss his belief in the “big bang” theory of the origin of the universe, which obviously means that he believes in evolution as well – evolution guided by the creator, but evolution nonetheless. This is a far more progressive stance than many other fundamentalist Christian sects. Why can’t the Catholic Church apply the same logic to the subjects of birth control and overpopulation? Father Funes observes that “we can’t put limits on God’s creative freedom.” Applying the same logic, how can we pretend to know what is God’s will, beyond what has been laid out for us in the Bible? Nowhere in the Bible are these subjects addressed. Who is to say that it’s not God’s will that we use our intellect and technology to manage our procreative capacity? If we allow that it may be God’s will for someone to bear a child, is it not also possible that His will may be that they not bear another child? He endowed us with a high reproductive capacity in order to assure the survival of our species in the beginning when our death rate was high. Now that, through God’s gifts, our intellect and technology have enabled us to dramatically reduce that rate, wouldn’t He expect us to use our intellect (and our common sense) to manage our reproductive capacity?
Recently, the Vatican issued a list of new sins. One of them was the sin of causing harm to the environment. It was long overdue – an admission that man has the capability of causing irreparable harm to the home God has created for us. Can’t they extend this logic one step further and acknowledge that our sheer numbers present a threat to the environment? Does it not then become a sin to ignore that threat? Does it not become sinful for a government to shirk its responsibilities to manage its population? Is it not sinful for the Vatican to be a roadblock to progress on this issue?
Every municipality in the country recognizes the need to manage pet populations and has established animal control agencies. Every state in the union recognizes the need to manage wildlife populations and has established departments of natural resources for that purpose. How can the Vatican and the federal government not recognize the need to manage our own population?
It’s just astounding that the Church can be so progressive in some ways, as displayed in this linked article, and yet so rigid and dumb when it comes to this one issue.