The statement below has been amended (26th June 2015) in the light of comments made by Professor Schellnhuber regarding words reported by the New York Times. Voice of the Family has published a new article addressing the issues that arise from Professor Schellnhuber’s remarks.
ROME, 18th June 2015:
The international coalition Voice of the Family is deeply concerned by the omission from the encyclical letter Laudato Si of a reaffirmation of the Church’s teaching against contraception and on procreation as the primary end of the sexual act.
The encyclical, published this morning, contains the welcome assertions that “concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion” (No. 120) and “that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development” (No. 50).
However the omission of any reference to Church teaching on the use of contraception leaves Catholics ill-prepared to resist the international population control agenda.
“God commanded man to ‘increase and multiply, and fill the earth’ (Gen 1:28)” said Voice of the Family manager Maria Madise “but the environmental movement commonly regards population growth as a threat”. Madise continued: “Developing nations are being flooded with contraceptives and subjected to pressure to legalise abortion. Given that contraception and environmentalism so often go hand-in-hand it is deeply troubling that Church teaching on the primacy of procreation is not reaffirmed.”
Patrick Buckley, UN lobbyist for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), noted that “The encyclical calls for increased international environmental action in paragraphs 173-175, while neglecting to prepare Catholics for what such action will undoubtedly involve: renewed attempts to further impose contraception and abortion on the developing world.”
In November 2015 the Pontifical Academy for Science will be holding workshops to discuss how to use “children as agents of change”. The programme involves strategising on how to deploy children to advance the environmental agenda worldwide. Such efforts seem to be endorsed by the encyclical in paragraphs 209-215. Some of those involved in the workshops, such as Jeffrey Sachs, are among the most vehement promoters of contraception and even abortion as necessary elements of population control.
John Smeaton, co-founder of Voice of the Family and Chief Executive of SPUC, stated “The international environmental movement often seeks to convince children that the world is overpopulated and that this must be resolved by controlling reproduction through contraception and access to abortion. There is now grave danger that our children will be exposed to this agenda under the guise of education on environmental concerns. The proposed plans of the PAS, and the lack of clear teaching on these dangers in the encyclical, put us on our guard. Catholic parents must resist all attacks on our children, even when they emanate from within the Vatican.”
About Voice of the Family:
Voice of the Family can be contacted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +44 (0)20 7820 3148 (UK landline)
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Voice of the Family is an international lay coalition of major pro-life and pro-family organizations that has formed to offer expertise and resources to leaders of the church, the media, NGOs, and governments before, during, and after the Catholic Church’s Synod on the Family.
Voice of the Family consists of 24 member organizations on five continents. Members include:
Acción Vida y Familia (Panama)
Alfa Szövetség/Alpha Alliance (Hungary)
Campagne Québec-Vie (Canada)
Campaign Life Catholics (Canada)
Campaign Life Coalition (Canada)
Catholic Democrats (Ireland)
Catholic Voice (Ireland)
CENAP (Czech Republic)
Culture of Life Africa (Africa)
European Life Network (Ireland)
Famiglia Domani (Italy)
Family Life International NZ (New Zealand)
Friends of Human Life Foundation/Klub Przyjaciół Ludzkiego Życia (Poland)
Holy Family Apostolate (Scotland)
Hnutí Pro život ČR (Czech Republic)
Human Life International (HLI) (international)
Liga pár páru ČR (Czech Republic)
National Association of Catholic Families (NACF) (England)
Observatorio Católico del Ecuador (Ecuador)
Res Claritatis (Czech Republic)
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) (United Kingdom)
Voto Catolico Colombia (Colombia)
The following truths are at the heart of Voice of the Family’s work:
- Sacramental marriage, binding parents together in an indissoluble union, is the greatest protector of children both born and unborn.
- The artificial separation of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the sexual act is a major catalyst of the culture of death.
- Parents are the primary educators of their children and it is through the education and formation of parents, and future parents, that the culture of life will be built