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Philippine prelate: Population control not the solution to poverty

Catholic World News - December 31, 2010

In his New Year’s message, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said that anti-corruption initiatives, rather than population control measures, are the key to the poverty that afflicts the nation.

“What awaits the majority of Filipinos in the year ahead, much as we hope for the better, perhaps are still the same dehumanizing conditions of poverty, injustice, and unpeace,” said Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, who stated that “corruption is the radical cause of the misery of Filipinos.”

He added:

There are those who believe that poverty is often a consequence of demographic change. For this reason, there are international campaigns afoot to reduce birth-rates, sometimes using methods that often fail to respect even the right to life.

The Holy Father Benedict XXVI, in his address on the occasion of the World Day of Peace, wrote: “The extermination of millions of unborn children in the name of the fight against poverty actually constitutes the destruction of the poorest of all human beings. And yet it remains the case that in 1981, around 40% of the world’s population was below the threshold of absolute poverty, while today that percentage has been reduced by as much as half, and whole peoples have escaped from poverty despite experiencing substantial demographic growth.” This implies that we can combat poverty even without depopulation.

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