Tag Archive for: More Children

Pope Francis: Overpopulation is a Myth — We Need More Children

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. That sinks in whenever I leave the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. It is good to be back home.

My recent excursion into the imperial city brought me up close and personal with the chattering class. I once dwelled among them; their ways are familiar. They are so well educated, so (mis)informed, so secure in their status as “nice people” who “matter.”  Common sense has been educated away.

Chewing the fat with pseudo-intellectuals is amusing up to a point, after which it gets tiresome for the even-tempered. Enduring their prattle, I heard that climate change (climate is always changing) is the supreme threat, and population reduction (reducing humanity) can save the planet. How about saving humanity? Maybe we could do both?

One of these delightful people referred to Pope Francis as a “dinosaur”. Perhaps they believe that being respectful is an oppressive patriarchal thing.

Legacy media relishes running stories about the declining health of Pope Francis, how he is not long for this world, etc. They lick their chops at the slightest hint of scandal anytime, anyhow, anywhere within the 1.4-billion-strong Catholic fold. This is overzealous secularism in action.

Sadly, that is to be expected in these times. Enlightenment empiricism melded with Cultural Marxism (political correctness) has given rise to incurable secular hubris. How could anyone who disagrees with the “enlightened ones” matter?

States General on Natality

While visibly ageing, Pope Francis is going strong at 87. He had something important to say on the tenth of May. The following headline, from a Latter Day Saint-friendly outlet, brilliantly summarised his remarks:

Have the courage to have children despite climate change and wars, Pope Francis says: The pontiff asks nations to help women juggle motherhood and work, create job security for young people and help couples buy homes.

Francis frequently weighs in about family and fertility. It is heartening that he hammers away at this. His May 10 remarks were at the States General on Natality, a yearly confab sponsored by the Italian government to reverse the country’s falling fertility. The title of this year’s meeting was “Being there: More youth, more future.”

Let us hope so. Italy’s fertility rate is now 1.2. There were 282,000 more deaths than births in 2023. The country’s median age is 47. While the government is supposedly going all out to fight fertility decline, thus far, it is a losing battle:

Last year, Italy recorded 379,000 births, a 3.6 percent decline on 2022 and a 34.2 percent drop on 2008 — the last year Italy saw an increase in the number of babies born. It was also the lowest number since the country’s unification in 1861.

Among friends

While Pope Francis was among friends, the States General on Natality forum was yet another venue where he spoke to the world. Early on, he commented on studies warning of overpopulation:

I was always struck by how these theses, which are now outdated, talked about human beings as if they were problems. But human life is not a problem, it’s a gift. No, the problem with our world is not children being born. It’s selfishness, consumerism, individualism, which render people complacent, alone and unhappy.

Francis nails it. That’s the essence of Mercator’s dignitarian philosophy in four sentences. Sadly, in today’s world, entrenched ideological elites manipulate the masses in accordance with the hyper-utilitarian homo economicus (economic man) ethos of cheap-labour immigration, lucrative identity politics and economically-driven social policy ruinous to family life. But people are catching on. Popular pushback is just getting started. Pope Francis’s advocacy is leading the way.

Not letting up

The pontiff continued, chastising chattering elites by saying that it is not population that causes world hunger and environmental damage, but rather “the choices of those who only think about themselves, the delirium of an unbridled, blind and rampant materialism, and of consumerism.”

The problem is not how many of us there are in this world, but rather what kind of world we’re building.

At the institutional level, there is an urgent need for effective policies and courageous, concrete and long-term choices to sow today so that children can reap tomorrow. A greater commitment is needed from all governments, so that the younger generations are put in a position to realise their legitimate dreams.

At the social level, Francis stressed the need to foster “a culture of generosity and intergenerational solidarity” by “reconsidering habits and lifestyles… renouncing what is superfluous…, [to] give the youngest hope for tomorrow.”

Amen to that. In closing, he said:

Lonely grandparents, discarded grandparents: this is cultural suicide. The future is built by the young and the old, together. Please, when talking about the birth rate, which is the future, let us also talk about grandparents, who are not the past, but help the future. Have children, lots of them, but also look after your grandparents.

Pope Francis gets it. People of many faiths have endorsed his comments. LDS First Counselor Dallin Oaks echoed Francis’s sentiments at a global conference on May 21. The theme: “Know the truth and stand for it, even if the truth is not politically popular.” His message: “Date more, marry earlier, don’t delay having children — even for financial reasons.”

The regnant cult of homo economicus values people solely for their economic utility. It believes that people exist to serve the economy. In a moral world, the economy serves the people. That’s families, folks. We’re all born into one. The question should not be if something is liberal, conservative, right or left but “Is it good for families?”

Traditionalists vehemently disagree with some of Pope Francis’s actions. Point taken. He is the first Jesuit pope, a theological “liberal”. But we can all agree, regardless of faith, denomination or whatever — from secular Silicon Valley pronatalists to people of faith worldwide – about the fundamentals: family and fertility. On those critical issues, let there be no division in our ranks.


Has the pontiff hit the nail on the head? Comment below.


AUTHOR

Louis T. March has a background in government, business, and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author, and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

EDITORS NOTE: This Mercator column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.