Cardinal Turkson says don't breed like rabbits in order to save "Mother Earth"
#1
From Rorate Caeli:

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We will avoid editorializing on whether the Church has "never been against birth control" as this type of statement is simply a symptom of the horrific state of modern religious formation. Prelates and priests preach incorrect ideas, sadly, on a daily basis. They are not infallible -- even on issues of faith and morals.

The primary issue is, once again, that Pope Francis led the way to this dangerous thinking, both in the insensitive and simpleminded way he lambasted large Catholic families  (see here) and in his fixation on new religion called "climate change" (see here).

Cue Peter Cardinal Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Francis' lead on so-called climate issues, on why Catholics should shun accepting God's will in order to save Mother Earth:

From the BBC:

COP21: Cardinal says birth control may offer climate 'solution'

One of the Catholic Church's most senior prelates has said that birth control could "offer a solution" to the impacts of climate change.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Pope's leading adviser on climate issues, told the BBC that the Church had never been against natural family planning.

Speaking in Paris, the cardinal called for a strong agreement that would protect the most vulnerable nations.

He said climate change was a looming ecological disaster.

Cardinal Turkson is believed to have played a significant role in the drafting of "Laudato Si", the Pope's encyclical on climate change.

Mouths to feed

The Catholic Church has recently adopted a more active role on the issue, encouraging churchgoers to join global climate marches before the start of COP21. The Church has also increased its engagement with the UN climate negotiation process itself, here in Le Bourget.

In a wide-ranging interview with the BBC, Cardinal Turkson suggested that birth control could help alleviate some of the impacts of climate change, particularly the lack of food in a warmer world.

"This has been talked about, and the Holy Father on his trip back from the Philippines also invited people to some form of birth control, because the church has never been against birth control and people spacing out births and all of that. So yes, it can offer a solution," he said.

"Having more mouths to feed is a challenge for us to be productive also, which is one of the key issues being treated over here, the cultivation and production of food, and its distribution.

"So yes it engages us in food security management, so we ensure that everybody is fed and all of that. The amount of population that is critical for the realisation of this is still something we need to discover, yet the Holy Father has also called for a certain amount of control of birth."

Cardinal Turkson was at pains to stress that artificial birth control methods such as the contraceptive pill were still beyond the pale as far as the Church was concerned.

"You don't deal with one good with another evil: the Church wants people to be fed, so let's do what the Church feels is not right? That is a kind of sophistry that the church would not go for," he said.

The question of birth control has long been controversial within the Catholic Church.

The issue is especially controversial in relation to climate change. The global population of 7 billion people is expected to grow to 9.7bn by the middle of the century according to the UN. However, efforts to limit family size in developing countries have been criticised as a form of imperialism.

As well as reiterating the Church's belief in natural methods of birth control, as a way of dealing with some impacts of climate change, Cardinal Turkson said a strong agreement at the Paris climate talks would be critically important in tackling the causes of the problem.

"For us, one thing must dominate. We need to look at the front line states and what they are going through now, and in the light of concern for what they are feeling now, to simply adopt a measure that can ensure the existence of all of us.

"Our profession of love for God must necessarily lead to our love for the handwork of God, for what God has made, so let's have some love for creation and for the human beings."

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#2
I don't breed like a rabbit, I breed like a human. I can't speak for other people, but I'm assuming most of them do too. :P

In a sense, he's right that the Church has "never been against birth control" if by that statement he means responsible parenthood and the spacing of births. What the Church against is artificial contraception. The great irony is that Natural Family Planning, while at time difficult to execute, is the most "environmentally friendly" form of birth regulation out there.

There's a great chapter in the secular book "Take Charge of Your Fertility" that talks about how the effectiveness rates of different birth control methods are calculated. Take birth control pills for example. They assume you have relations all through your cycle, and calculate the number of pregnancies that result from there. But anyone who knows anything about NFP knows that you're actually infertile anyway for a big chunk of your cycle, so no matter the method you're not going to get pregnant except for a few days anyways. So for birth control pills to be 92%-98% effective (depending on the pill), part of that 92%-98% is when you're naturally infertile anyway so it actually reduces how effective the pill is if you were to confine it to just the few fertile days a cycle a couple will have.  So theoretically, a BCP can only be 50% effective at preventing a pregnancy, but because the numbers are rolled into the entire month including when you're naturally infertile, you come out with 98% anyway. It's actually rather deceptive.

Natural Family Planning, by definition, abstains from relations when you're fertile. The mode of NFP will range in effectiveness from approaching 100% (for LAM users following the 7 standards) to about 98-99% for sympto-thermal users. But that's an actual 98%, not 50% rolled into otherwise infertile days to give the illusion of 98%. So purely from an effeciency point of view, NFP wins.

It's also good for the environment because it doesn't leech hormones into the environment, it doesn't involve the manufacture and disposal of plastic and/or latex parts, and it's socially responsible because it requires nothing but education to access i.e. doesn't require money.

I mean, these are just the secular reasons why NFP is good. The spiritual reasons are staggering, but it's hard to make that argument even to most Catholics these days. But to say, "birth control might be an option" is grossly misinformed. What he's talking about is contraception. And it's unnecessary, and not the best alternative anyway if we're talking about regulating births.



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#3
(12-09-2015, 01:17 PM)PrairieMom Wrote: I don't breed like a rabbit, I breed like a human. I can't speak for other people, but I'm assuming most of them do too. :P

^ This!!  :)

This guy strikes me as nothing more than a typical liberal Vatican apparatchik spewing the current party lines and infecting unsuspecting faithful with all manner of spiritual illness.
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#4
It isn't exactly correct to say that the Church has "always" been in favor of so-called Natural Family Planning, but that is a great lie that certain conservative-style Catholics like to tell to fellow conservatives.  In fact, Natural Family Planning is just as sinful as other birth control in most instances since the sorts of conditions that would allow for the use of natural family planning are rarely existent (except in a place like China where there is forced abortion). 

As for this environmentalism, it is absurd.  People do not exist for the earth.  The earth exists for people.  The only reason for the environment to exist is to support human life.  If there is no human life, there is no reason for the environment to exist.  To place the environment over human life, then, is ridiculous.  If one really cares about the environment for what it is, then one should want as many humans exist as physically possible in order for the environment to be enjoyed and utilized by the maximum amount of people, which is its end.
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#5
Did he actually say "breed like rabbits"? I know the Pope said the word rabbits once, but it doesn't seem like this Cardinal did.

Anyway, for better or worse, this is nothing new with Pope Francis.  It is found, for example, in Paul VI's encyclical Populorum Progressio 37 (it relates more to economic problems than environmental, but it's the same principle).
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#6
With regard to NFP,  I think you have to look at it in two parts, the macro and micro. 

In the macro is the married couple's general duty to procreate. A married couple has the duty to "be fruitful and multiply" or at least try to (infertility is not a sin unless it is deliberately willed). Simply deciding you don't feel like having kids is therefore a sin--even if you accomplished it by perfect abstinence after consummating the marriage.  That being said, the Church has always held that this duty is not absolute--there are plenty of married saints who chose perfect continence and didn't have children, but they did it for a just cause: in that case  they thought it necessary for them to sanctify their souls.  There are other just reasons too--there's no specific number of children one must have, and it certainly has never been as many as one could possibly create. As far as I know, the Church has never enumerated a list of just causes--it's usually left up to the consciences and responsibility of the couple, perhaps with the help of a pastor.

In the micro, we have to evaluate a specific act of intercourse.  In this case, the act is sinful if during it, the act is "deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life."  The fact is, the act does not always have a natural power to generate life.  The Church has never taught that a couple must engage in intercourse during every fertile day or that it was forbidden to engage in intercourse during infertile days.  In the micro, in itself, it is therefore perfectly licit to abstain during any or all fertile days and come together in any or all infertile days.

That being said, when we put to the two aspects together, we get the full doctrine.  Abstaining during fertile days and coming together only in infertile days would be a sin, not because the individual acts are sin, but because of the general violation of the duty to procreate.

That's my understanding anyway.
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#7
I wish there were more orthodox Catholics thinking seriously about our relationship with the natural world. Instead, we have American conservatives who are also Catholic saying, "Drill, baby! Drill! Who cares about the environment?" Or else we have liberals who want to change Church teaching on birth control and give power to the UN and other international organizations.

I sort of wonder if somebody like Edward Goldsmith might provide some direction for Catholics here.
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#8
(12-09-2015, 02:13 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: I wish there were more orthodox Catholics thinking seriously about our relationship with the natural world. Instead, we have American conservatives who are also Catholic saying, "Drill, baby! Drill! Who cares about the environment?" Or else we have liberals who want to change Church teaching on birth control and give power to the UN and other international organizations.

I sort of wonder if somebody like Edward Goldsmith might provide some direction for Catholics here.

Caring about the environment and wanting to "drill, baby, drill!" are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
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#9
Maybe not, but many conservatives are pretty explicit about their lack of concern for the environment. Just do a Google search for "coal rollers."
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#10
(12-09-2015, 02:04 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: That being said, when we put to the two aspects together, we get the full doctrine.  Abstaining during fertile days and coming together only in infertile days would be a sin, not because the individual acts are sin, but because of the general violation of the duty to procreate.

That's my understanding anyway.

I counter that what makes someone's duty to procreate restricted to certain times? If a couple has 4 children and decides to stop are they being sinful? If a couple has 6 children and decides to stop, are they being sinful? What if a couple decides to wait for a couple years after marriage due to economic and living situations before they have children and then proceed to have a large family... were they being sinful prior to having children?

The use of NFP to prevent pregnancy is so gray and the Church has never ruled on it. It's only in trad circles where I see people full blown against couples using it. If using NFP to only have relations on infertile days to prevent pregnancy for a time is sinful because it goes against the duty to procreate, then shouldn't complete abstinence be the same? St. Paul pretty much tells married couples to have relations as much as they can and not to refuse the other for long periods of time because it may lead themselves and their spouses into sin. So are we to believe that the only way to do things is for families to have 8 children?
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