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Vatican envoy regrets UN emphasis on abortion, efforts to curb population growth

April 16, 2015

The Vatican’s representative at the UN decried campaigns to promote abortion and contraception, in two separate addresses this week.

Speaking at an April 15 session on sexual violence in armed conflicts, Archbishop Bernardito Auza called attention to the atrocities perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists on Christian women in Nigeria. All governments should “condemn and confront such heinous acts,” he said.

“It is always distressing, however,” the archbishop continued, “to see that some are still promoting the abortion of unborn children as part of the “treatment” or response to the attack of their mothers. This contradicts the peace and security mission of the United Nations, and proposes to meet violence with more violence.”

On April 16, in an address to a meeting on population, Archbishop Auza criticized the focus on population growth as an obstacle to development. He especially decried “subtle forms of coercion” used to push plans to curb population growth in underdeveloped countries. Rather than concentrating on “issues that find no universal agreement,” he said, the UN should give top priority to measures that would promote economic growth and sustainable development.

Pointing to the negative consequences of family-planning programs, Archbishop Auza observed:

My delegation notes with concern the effects of the declining fertility rate combined with the declining mortality rate in developed countries. The increasing burden that it places on social safety nets and health services is creating an alarming situation, in which our elderly and our youth are more and more vulnerable.


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