Friday, April 23, 2004

Population Control 

Not every publication fits the needs of every person, of course, and not every person is in the same place in their life journey as every other person, but right now, I really enjoy reading my weekly "National Catholic Register" paper. In particular, I enjoyed this weeks article "American Lessons from Europe's Fall" by Father C. John McCloskey. Here's a quote,
Europe is tired and its people are chiefly concerned with the present as evidenced by their lack of creativity, their embracing of the enveloping welfare state and above all by their remarkable reluctance to procreate. With the influx of Islamic workers and the current rates of fertility, one begins to see that it is not a question of whether "Europe is the faith and the faith is Europe," as Belloc put it almost a century ago, but rather if within 50 years Europe will be at all.

The Pope seems to agree:

"This loss of Christian memory is accompanied by a kind of fear of the future. Tomorrow is often presented as something bleak and uncertain. The future is viewed more with dread than with desire. Among the troubling indications of this are the inner emptiness that grips many people and the loss of meaning in life. The signs and fruits of this existential anguish include, in particular, the diminishing number of births, the decline in the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and the difficulty, if not the outright refusal, to make lifelong commitments, including marriage.
I was rather delighted to see that Father McCloskey is with the Opus Dei, which was so ravaged by the Dan Brown "Da Vinci Code" book. If the Opus Dei writes this clearly about what's going on in the world, then more people ought to listen to them.

One of the things we all used to kid Catholics about was the size of their families. The whole world seemed to make so much sense when everyone talked about limiting family size and population control... well, looky looky, it doesn't take very long at all for population control to become cultural twilight. Faster, certainly, than I ever could have believed. Even the USA population would be going down if not for immigration, and Europe and Japan are much worse off. So there's a win for the Catholic Faith.

Also, I wrote the other day about the split in our country being between those who pay taxes and those who don't. Perhaps better is, those who are full of hope and those who are hopeless. I heard an Irish pastor on the radio this morning giving a sermon on hope and in the quote above, the Pope is talking about the bleak and dreary outlook some have for the future... So perhaps, whether Democrat or Republican, whether left or right, whether rich or poor, the hopeful can come together and smile at the hopeless.

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