St Mary's, Twickenham: 'Population Matters' Group Given a Platform

Pope Benedict XVI at St Mary's University College, Twickenham
Browsing the internet I was alerted to a deeply concerting video of a talk given by a group called Population Matters which, going from the video, suggests that it took place at St Mary's University College, Twickenham.

This University College was graced with the presence of none other than the Holy Father himself during the Papal Visit in 2010. Indeed, as the link above for St Mary's suggests, the University College are quite proud of their association with the Successor of St Peter, whose triumphant visit to the United Kingdom shocked even the BBC, but hey, it wouldn't be the first time Auntie misjudged the public mood.

At his speech at St Mary's, Pope Benedict XVI was addressing Catholic school children, the future of the Church no less, encouraging them to 'be saints', to be holy, to come to know God more deeply and to be eager for virtue. His Holiness also said:

'In your Catholic schools, there is always a bigger picture over and above the individual subjects you study, the different skills you learn. All the work you do is placed in the context of growing in friendship with God, and all that flows from that friendship. So you learn not just to be good students, but good citizens, good people. As you move higher up the school, you have to make choices regarding the subjects you study, you begin to specialize with a view to what you are going to do later on in life. That is right and proper. But always remember that every subject you study is part of a bigger picture. Never allow yourselves to become narrow. The world needs good scientists, but a scientific outlook becomes dangerously narrow if it ignores the religious or ethical dimension of life, just as religion becomes narrow if it rejects the legitimate contribution of science to our understanding of the world. We need good historians and philosophers and economists, but if the account they give of human life within their particular field is too narrowly focused, they can lead us seriously astray.'

While the Holy Father addressed these words to school children (because why would Catholic adults want to listen to the Pope?), the University College enjoys the status of being a Catholic University with associations with the successful Papal Visit. Perhaps, then, it may not have been wise if a University College wishes to have 'Catholic' credentials, to invite or to accept to give a talk to its students on the issue of human population, an organisation that presents the issue of human population in ways that fundamentally contradict the Catholic Church's vision of humanity, especially when it comes to what Pope Paul VI described in Humane Vitae, as the 'transmission of human life'.

Long term readers will, if they hadn't learned from other outlets, recall an organisation campaigning for a more environmentally conscious world in which couples embrace what the Church insists are instrinsic moral evils, like artificial contraception and abortion in order to restrict, or rather throttle, population, at a time when the birth rate in the West is already unsustainably low. This organisation, the Optimum Population Trust, have changed their name to Population Matters. Among the group's trustees are a couple of professors and some people I've never heard of. Among its patrons are eco-fanatics Sir David Attenborough, Johnathan Porritt and Dr James Lovelock (who wrote a, most likely scintillating, book called 'Revenge of Gaia'). The group run many 'campaigns', receive their fair share of media attention (especially on the BBC) and raise awareness of population and 'sustainability' issues with a deep emphasis on environmental concern. For some reason, I guess for the justification of 'academic freedom' the Population Matters group were able to thrust their vison of a misanthropic dystopian nightmare down the throats of students at St Mary's while St Mary's maintain their 'oh so Catholic' credentials.

Instead of proposing to students of St Mary's, Twickenham, that they believe the Church's mission and the mission to 'save' the environment could be greatly helped by a high percentage of students considering vocations to the religious life, the talk given at St Mary's seems to have focused, more or less unrelentingly, on the need for nations, Catholics too, to embrace artificial contraception and abortion as lifestyles that can contribute to the lowering of the human population and make polar bears very happy indeed - because, as we all know, every time an unborn child is destroyed, or a couple contracept, a veritable all-night party erupts among the polar bear community on the polar ice cap(s).

As if people young and old are not made subject to this insufferable and inhuman green agenda enough through media, government and just about everywhere you go, in every BBC documentary on the 'Human Planet' and, yes, at schools and Universities too, the speakers at Population Matters feel it their duty to go and educate and, if I may say so, indoctrinate (because much of this climate-earth-population stuff seems to require a certain faith - faith in the BBC even, while Auntie goes into meltdown) Catholic students and others at a Catholic institution that is by its own mission statement is committed to ensuring that:

'St Mary’s prepares its students for flourishing lives, successful careers and social commitment through excellent, research-enriched teaching in a strong community of mutual respect based on our Catholic ethos and identity.'

How is the Catholic ethos and identity served by inviting or accepting to give a talk a group committed to the propagation of an agenda that appears to rely on artificial contraception and humanity culling its own children in the womb while embracing earth worship as a model for good religious doctrine and practice?

Perhaps we should ask the question to the University that gained extra prestige from the Papal Visit? Perhaps the University have the answer. Perhaps we should inform the CDF and the Papal Nuncio of the goings on in a Catholic institution so bound to their 'mission statement' that they allow a group promoting artificial contraception and abortion in to give the students the lowdown on how to 'save the planet'.

Hey...its amazing what Catholic institutions can accept into their walls in the name of of 'academic freedom', isn't it? The ease with which those who serve a frankly diabolical agenda slip into Catholic university walls in order to make converts is quite astonishing. How easy is it, I wonder, to promote a Catholic or 'pro-life' vision at the University or to pass on the Catholic Faith to those in its care? An uphill struggle, I'll bet. Thank God some Catholics are taking note of what is truly going on at their place of education and, in this case, filming...

Anyway. What has caused the meltdown in the BBC? Sickening institutional left-wing bias, corruption or global warming? A combination, perhaps, of all three?


Nicolas Bellord said…
I wonder if anyone can shed any light on what is going on at St Mary's Twickenham. They are proposing to close their Theology department and have sacked one of their teachers escorting him from the premises in the middle of a class which seems a bit extreme. The students seem very upset. It has been suggested that St Mary's is bidding for some new status which requires a more secular approach. Is there any truth in this?