Optimum Population Pope: The Return of the Apostolic Micromanager?

“I believe that three children per family, from what the experts say, is the key number for sustaining the population. The key word here is responsible parenthood and each person works out how to exercise this with the help of their pastor…"

Clericalism? Move along now folks, nothing to see here...

Why not just hand it over to the UN, Your Holiness and they can set the number of children born to each family in line with the five-year global population model for sustainable development?

Vatican La Stampa


HisGodishis(bigfat)Belly said…
"How do we do this?" Francis asked. "With dialogue. Each person with his pastor seeks how to do that responsible parenthood." "God gives you methods to be responsible," he continued."

Is he talking about abstinence? If so, why doesn't he say so?

Unfortunately, I think he is referring people to their pastor so that the pastor can refer them to artificial birth control, sterilization and abortion(oh that don't tempt God! - Watch out for the meteor,fatso!

He has already handed it over to the UN:

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On 6 August 1945, humanity witnessed one of the most horrendous catastrophes in its history. For the first time, in a new and unprecedented way, the world experienced the full potential of man’s destructive power. From the ashes of that immense tragedy which was the Second World War, there arose among the nations a new will for dialogue and encounter which inspired the United Nations Organization, whose seventieth anniversary we will celebrate this year.

In his visit to the UN headquarters fifty years ago, my predecessor, Pope Paul VI, noted that “the blood of millions, countless unheard-of sufferings, useless massacres and frightening ruins have sanctioned the agreement that unites you with an oath that ought to change the future of the world: never again war, never again war! It is peace, peace, that has to guide the destiny of the nations of all mankind” (Address to the United Nations, New York, 4 October 1965).

This is likewise my own hope-filled prayer for this new year, which, for that matter, will see the continuation of two significant processes:
the drawing up of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, with the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals, and the drafting of a new Climate Change Agreement.
The latter is urgently needed. The indispensable presupposition of all these is peace, which, even more than an end to all wars, is the fruit of heartfelt conversion.

gracem said…
Watch out for the meteor fatso!!!

Great line!
Anonymous said…
Some voices call for IMPEACHMENT of his holiness... I wish he will be gone... ENOUGH!!!
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
Why not just one---like China?

Seattle k
After reading the actual transcript of what the Holy Father said, it seems that the media has been up to its usual tricks of distortion again.

It was a reporter who raised the "high" number of 3 children per family being the cause of poverty in the Philippines. The Holy Father responded that, according to experts, 3 children was the minimum number required to keep a population going and anything less than this led to demographic problems.

He did not say that Catholics should limit themselves to 3 children. Rather the implication was that this number should be the minimum per family.

I fully agree with him on this and have therefore deleted my previous fatuous comments which I made without cognizance of the facts.
Nicolas Bellord said…
I really think it is a waste of time trying to analyse everything his Holiness says. He seems to speak off the cuff and I suppose most of us, when speaking off the cuff, would subsequently like to moderate what we have just said. So I just try and ignore all this and try and confine myself to reading only some statements from his Holiness which can be classified as infallible. So far I do not think anything has fallen into the infallible category.

Maybe the lower oxygen level in a pressurised airplane is leading to sluggish thinking?
Genty said…
Micromanagement? Yes and no. I certainly think that is apparent in certain areas of the Vatican, particularly in the clerical sphere, ie appointment of cardinals and bishops who can be relied upon to follow a certain line, suppression of those who don't.
But not generally, as regards the laity. What I see here is the irresistible urge to say something, anything, to get global headlines; pro-Francis, natch.
I fear the old boy suffers from a bad case of logorrhoea. His media advisers, if they have any say, are advising him poorly.
BirdSeed said…
Deacon Augustine, I don't know how you or the pope can mandate the minimum number of children for a family--or the maximum either. I was taught that God will give each family the number of children HE deems appropriate to that family. The parents (and their filthy homosexual money grubbing wolves masquerading as shepherds) have NO say in the matter. The purpose of sex is to have children, i.e. increase the Body of Christ to give praise and glory to God. It is amazing how 2000 years after Jesus Christ lived and while 100,000 babies are being aborted daily, fatuous fools like you and F seek to pontificate on the number of children families should have. Why doesn't F go preach to the birds and the bees like his supposed namesake this sermon of his? And you too -- maybe you both will learn something (if your intellects are not too darkened by gluttony, pride, etc.).
Unknown said…
Yes Deacon, but if we truly want to save the planet---we absolutely should be limiting ourselves to one or none. I'm sure the UN will educate him further on these matters. Back in my pro-choice days, I remember some of the environmentalists' slogan at a rally--"Abortion for a better world!" In the end that's where the rabbit hole leads..

"Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it. For in those days, Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor but a destroyer." St Francis of Assisi. 1226

I can't help but wonder if St Francis' words are for our time. Stay awake. Be ready.

Seattle Kim
Unknown said…
Maybe Francis should take this idea to some prominent Imams.

Seattle kim
Liam Ronan said…
Whaddya reckon the reaction in the Islamic world would have been had the "breeding like rabbits" wisdom been directed by Francis at the Muslims? Rabid rabbits, perhaps? Bunnies in boiler pots? A punch on the papal beezer?
Perhaps this slight on Islamic breeding habits was never made as they are perhaps 1 child families, practice natural family planning or the Islamic world has never heard a direct word of censure from Francis to date?
What a guy!
Damask Rose said…
I think the Pope is totally correct in this matter, especially with regards to the high-risk pregnancy and the worry that the mother could die and the children left motherless. God has given us logos, and it isn't all about the sex.
c matt said…
In fact, i have often heard 2.1 children per child bearing female is needed to maintain a stable population level. So 3 is above. If what u say is what Francis was getting at, you could almost say he was being generous.
Liam Ronan said…
@Deacon Augustine,

You said:

"After reading the actual transcript of what the Holy Father said, it seems that the media has been up to its usual tricks of distortion again."

Awww c'mon! You can't be serious. He sounded like he was one stand-up sound bite away from a Margaret Sanger impersonation.
CaesareanByChoice said…
Caesarean pregnancies are not necessarily 'high risk' pregnancies. More and more women are choosing them. Might want to check out this blog:

"I do not know how i managed 8 its very rare the simple reason being who wants 8 children nowadays anyway.but i know of several 5,6, and a couple of ladies having had 7 c-sections.Yes i was cut in the same place with each one and with the last one i had i was only in hospital for 2 days.But yes Sue i think you are right in saying a planned c-section is a completely different experience much better only one of mine was an emergency section the rest planned and great :)"


I have had 8 c-sections and am scheduled for my 9th c-section on October 29, 2007. I truly believe that there is no hard and fast limit on the number of c-sections that a woman can have. We all heal differently and this would be best considered/evaluated on an individual basis. It would also be best to seek other opinions if you are being told no more c-sections, which means no more children, and you are still wanting to have more. You can read about my 8 c-sections on our family's website. http://www.manymcdaniels.com/birthstories.html Cindy McDaniels

More women are choosing C-sections (bikini cut scar not like old scar down middle of stomach in case F hasn't heard about it):

"According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 33 percent of American women who gave birth in 2011 had a cesarean delivery. (The c-section rate in the United States has risen nearly 60 percent since 1996.)"

Anonymous said…
What he said was not Catholic. It was the usual worldly, materialist comment so in keeping with the attitude of the enemies of the Way, the Truth and the Life, who dominate our world. St John Vianney intercede for us that we may have more holy priests and bishops.
Anonymous said…
When one is the Successor of Peter, there is nothing that can excuse statements and actions that are opposed to the unchangeable Faith and moral law.
Anonymous said…
The life of the woman involved was not necessarily endangered at all. He did not say that it was. The woman and her husband may have been well and delighted in having the children that God gifted them.
Bird seed, I was not "mandating the minimum number of children per family", nor I believe was the Pope.

A reporter asked him: "Can the level of poverty in the Philippines be explained by the fact that the average woman has 3 children?"

The Pope effectively refuted his suggestion by saying that you need AT LEAST 3 per family in order to sustain a population. i.e. far from being a cause of poverty, larger family size (compared to the western notion of how big families should be) is needed to prevent the poverty which comes from the economic problems created by demographic decline.

This part of his interview, at least, was merely an observation of economic reality, and he in no way "mandated" any particular number of children for any particular family.

Yes, the only ethical and moral answer to this question is that every family should accept the number of children which God gives them. But in case you haven't noticed, 95% of Catholics, let alone the rest of the world, don't think God has anything to do with the matter.

The actual transcript of the interview relating to this question of "3 children" is as follows:

"Christoph Schmidt (CIC): How does the Church respond to the criticisms about its position on birth control given that the world population is growing so much. And to the criticism that the poverty in the Philippines is due to the fact that Filipino women have an average of 3 children each?

PF:I think the number of 3 (children) per family that you mentioned, it is the one experts say is important to keep the population going,. three per couple. When it goes below this, the other extreme happens, like what is happing in Italy. I have heard, I do not know if it is true, that in 2024 there will be no money to pay pensioners (because of) the fall in population."

If he had shut up at this point, he would have been fine. Unfortunately he went on to say other things which were, quite frankly, stupid. However much I disagree with the other things he said, and the way he said them, it is unjust to accuse him of "mandating" an ideal family size for anybody.
Nicolas Bellord said…
I think you have to be careful with statistics. You cannot have 2.1 children in a family (the number required to sustain the population)!! If everyone aimed to have 3 children you would might well end up with an even lower average than 2.1 because of those families who for valid reasons do not manage to have any children or only one or two. Probably best to leave these matters in the hands of God and let him decide what is a good average.
Long-Skirts said…

“He said he chided her…”

Not to the boys
Who do their own schtick.
Not to the girls
Who call themselves Rick.

Not to the men
Who cut off heads quick.
Not to the Extra
Ministers’ clique.

Not to the gals
On their buses so slick.
Not to the spouses –
Find new lips to lick.

Not to the Prelates
Preaching heresy thick.
Not to the kinky
In lust for a kick.

But give me the mother
With child number eight –
She, I’ll chastise,
She, I’ll berate,

Then brag to reporters
How I admonish sins great –
A mother and child,
Unknown said…
Long Skirts-----this absolutely your best yet. Hope you don't mind if I send it to a few mother rabbit friends of mine.

Seattle kim
Anonymous said…
Thank you! Have you ever thought of reciting some of your compositions to camera and putting on the internet?
Anonymous said…
Sustaining a population at a given baseline is not an object given us by God. It is irrelevant. What baseline does one take in any case - the level after decades of saturation contraception and industrial-scale killing of children by abortifacient chemicals or "surgical" methods??

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