The aging population of the United States and European nations is the “true origin of the current economic crisis,” according to the president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. “The costs of an aging population cannot be sustained by young people, who, in addition to being fewer, might also ask themselves why they should do so, especially if they are immigrants.”
To ignore our aging population is dangerous and it has become unavoidable to define a strategy to concretely support families in their natural vocation to have children. Only in this way can a real economic recovery be triggered. Often a two-income family today earns less than the same family thirty years ago earned with only one income. This is mainly a result of the growth of taxes precisely as a means of absorbing the financial consequences of aging due to the decrease in births. “In the end, nature itself teaches us that if a man and a woman do not generate children it is difficult that someone takes care of them when they age. The State can try, but at a very high cost.”1
In the same context, the United States bishops “strongly oppose” a proposal to mandate coverage of surgical sterilization and all FDA-approved birth control in private health insurance plans nationwide. “Pregnancy is not a disease, and fertility is not a pathological condition to be suppressed by any means technically possible,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.
The committee of the Institute of Medicine mandated by the Human Health Resources recommended “the full range” of federally approved contraceptives and sterilization procedures, including the abortion-inducing drug Ella. It would probably also recommend mandatory coverage for surgical abortions, if such a mandate were not prevented by law.
The cardinal added: “I can only conclude that there is an ideology at work in these recommendations that goes beyond any objective assessment of the health needs of women and children,” and for its part, the Institute of Medicine “missed an opportunity to promote better health care for women that is life-affirming and truly compassionate.”
In simple words, the Church authorities rightly advocate what nature clearly encourages. Welcome children in your families as God wants them: they will turn out to be a blessing for all of society. Do not use medicine which prevents fertility; it not only goes directly against nature but also the Hippocratic Oath presumably taken by doctors.
Let us take to heart the refreshing, although not so diplomatic, words of St. Padre Pio. He explained that abortion is not only homicide but suicide: “You would understand this suicide of the human race if with the eye of reason you could see the ‘beauty and joy’ of the earth depopulated by children, burnt as a desert.” To a penitent who confessed of having provoked abortions, he exclaimed: “Go, away, animal! Go away!”2 To another who excused his faults since he received advice from “doctors who said we could procreate a monster”, the saint replied: “You would have deserved it!”
Thank God, many are not tempted to abort their children. But this last quote of Padre Pio is especially interesting because the saint's anger was also strongly directed against the sin of contraception. Is there not a danger for many to fall victim to a contraceptive mentality at times? Do many wish perhaps they could decide for themselves how many children to have? Is there not a tendency to carefully avoid conception in conjugal relationships without the grave reasons which could excuse one to do so? Let us remember to trust in God and His Providence; He knows what is best for us...
1 Cf. an editorial of July 21, 2011 at www.osservatoreromano.va
, titled: “Economic strategy for the oldest countries: Children are the engine of recovery”.
2 The Angelus, April 2011.