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Falling fertility rates should change world leaders’ priorities, Vatican envoy tells UN

April 05, 2017

Speaking on April 5 to a UN session on sustainable development, the Vatican’s representative observed that declining fertility rates should cause a shift in nations’ priorities.

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“For decades, talk of an impending population bomb has led certain governments to adopt policies that encourage population control measures, some of them draconian, as the easiest response to the fear of resource scarcity and underdevelopment,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza. Now the aging population in many countries raises new questions about the ability of modern societies to sustain themselves.

Archbishop Auza acknowledged the population continues to grow in some countries. However, he argued, “demographic growth is fully compatible with shared prosperity.” The world’s resources are sufficient to fee and supply a growing population, he said. “Corruption, protracted conflicts and other man-made disasters, especially in the developing world, do far more to perpetuate injustice and entrench poverty than a healthy, growing population.”


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  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Apr. 08, 2017 11:15 AM ET USA

    The comment about "aging population" scarcely hints at the impending certainty of a vast drop in worldwide population. An honest examination of statistics indicates (certainly to me) that we will drop 3/4 billion over the next 60 years and still be headed down, simply because we are not having children to replace us. Some think the Muslems will replace the non Muslim population based on their apparent present fertility. That is not so clearly shown.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 06, 2017 12:06 PM ET USA

    If Catholics are unwilling to fill the vacuum, then Muslims will. While the minaret in the midtown mosque continues to grow taller and taller, one has to be careful when driving through the neighborhood because of all the children running from building to building. Foot traffic is also quite heavy within a mile of the mosque.

  • Posted by: DanS - Apr. 05, 2017 7:10 PM ET USA

    The UN fiddles while the world burns...