Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Quick Hits: Global Catholic population explosion, health unknowns of test-tube babies

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 09, 2016

  • If you have been worrying about the declining number of Catholics, the distinguished historian Philip Jenkins has news for you: the universal Church is in the midst of a remarkable growth spurt! In Catholicism’s incredible growth story, Jenkins reports that the worldwide Catholic population has nearly doubled since 1970. “Nor does the rate of growth show any sign of diminishing,” he adds. By 2050, the number of Catholics could be roughly four times what it was in 1950.

  • If you need something else to worry about, Michael Cook supplies a topic in an insightful essay for Mercatornet on the children born of in vitro fertilization. The first test-tube babies are now approaching middle age, he reminds readers. Will they have any special physical problems? We don’t know. Could they be prone to infertility? Could their unusual fetal development leave them vulnerable to some diseases? There are reasons for concern, but again we don’t know. In fact there’s a great deal we don’t know about the booming industry of assisted reproduction. For instance, we don’t know anything about the lab cultures in which test-tube fertilization takes place. Cook cites one scientist who “admitted that he knows far more about the ingredients in his favourite peanut butter, from the ingredients to the production record, than he does about embryo culture media.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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