“The fact that Paul Ehrlich is advertised as a speaker at the Vatican’s ‘Biological Extinction’ conference is scandalous,” Maria Madise, manager of Voice of the Family, told LifeSiteNews.
“Through its choice of speakers, the Pontifical Academies running the event are giving an unmistakable message of sympathy for the radical environmental agenda, despite it going hand in hand with abortion, birth control, and a total lack of compassion for the real poor in today’s world, the unborn children,” she said.
Ehrlich, author of the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, is scheduled to speak in Vatican City during the February 27-March 1 conference that will discuss “how to save the natural world.”
The Stanford biologist champions sex-selective abortion as well as mass forced sterilization as legitimate methods to curb population growth. It is impossible to calculate the possible millions of deaths globally the man and his population control ideas might indirectly be responsible for over the past five decades — ideas that are forcefully employed in countries such as China, India, Kenya, and many others.
Ehrlich called for “compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion” in his 1977 book Ecoscience, as a way to fight population growth.
He once said that allowing women to have as many children as they desired was like letting people “throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”
The conference, jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences (PAS) and Social Sciences (PASS), will address what Vatican organizers call an unsustainable “imbalance” between the world’s population and what the earth is capable of producing.
Reggie Littlejohn, founder of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, which fights gendercide and forced abortion in Asia, said she was “perplexed” by the Vatican’s choice of speakers.
“I am perplexed that the Vatican would invite someone to speak whose theories have been discredited and whose dire predictions have utterly failed to materialize, who says that women should not be allowed to have as many children as they want, and who equates babies with garbage,” she told LifeSiteNews.
“Ehrlich is anti-woman, anti-child, and ultimately, anti-humanity. It's his kind of thinking that gave rise to China's brutal One Child Policy,” she added.
The population alarmist is no friend of the Catholic Church, largely due to its teaching against contraception. Ehrlich has even gone as far as calling the pope and the Church’s bishops “one of the truly evil, regressive forces on the planet, in my opinion, interested primarily in maintaining their power.”
In a 2013 article, Ehrlich denounced Catholicism as “dangerous” for opposing the use of contraception and told reporters in 2015 that Pope Francis’s exclusion of population control in the environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ was “raving nonsense,” and that the pope was “dead wrong.”
Stefano Gennarini, director of the Centre for Legal Studies at the Centre for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), said he was “shocked” to discover Ehrlich would be giving a paper at a Vatican conference.
“He is also responsible for gender selective abortion as a tool of population control, as well as forced abortion and sterilization programs all over the world. Renown historian Michael Connelly of Columbia University testified as much before Congress in 2013,” Gennarini wrote, adding that the alarmist’s catastrophic predictions about overpopulation have “all proven to be bogus.”
Gennarini wondered why the Vatican would invite as a speaker someone who has denounced the Catholic Church and denigrated the pope as well as Catholic bishops.
“While the Pontifical Academy for Science can invite whomsoever it wants to speak at its conferences, especially if the financial sponsors of the conference ask for certain speakers, it might want to consider the confusion it can create in the minds of believers and unbelievers alike when it offers a platform to speakers who undermine the Church’s storied opposition to population control,” he said.
Gennarini said the invitation amounts to Ehrlich and his views receiving a “moral imprimatur of the Vatican.”
Dr. Thomas Williams, a theologian who teaches Philosophical Ethics at the University of Saint Thomas in Rome, was also puzzled by the Vatican’s choice of Ehrlich.
“Just why the Vatican would wish to showcase the purveyor of debunked, apocalyptic theories is anybody’s guess, but it certainly cannot bode well for the relationship between faith and science,” he wrote in a piece that appeared on Breitbart.
Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, criticized the Vatican’s choice of Ehrlich as a suitable speaker.
“Ehrlich’s opinions on biological extinction rates are just as exaggerated as his failed predictions of a human population explosion. Why the Vatican should be giving a platform to this secular prophet of doom is beyond me,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“There are plenty of credible Catholic scientists around whose fact-based opinions should be highlighted by their Church. What's next? Inviting Raúl Castro to speak on human rights?” he added.
Mosher said there is nothing in the Vatican-run conference that might distinguish it from a similar event that would be run by a secular atheist university.
“This is not because there is uniformity of opinion on such matters as global warming and extinction rates, but because the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences have apparently adopted the prevailing progressive views on these matters, which verge on the hysterical,” he said.
Mosher called the conference’s claim, as outlined in a brochure, that up to 40 percent of all biodiversity on Earth will be destroyed “by the end of this century regardless of any other factors” merely “speculation,” adding that it could likely be “grant-driven speculation.”
“If the climate indeed warms (and by how much?), then some species will follow the shifting boundaries of their habitats northward, but that does not mean extinction. Bear in mind also that new species are constantly evolving,” he said.
He took issue with how the conference organizers spoke about protecting biodiversity by putting into place “appropriate social conditions” while finding “substitutions for the destabilizing aggression that we and our ancestors have been practicing for tens of thousands of years.”
Commented Mosher: “Phrases like ‘putting the appropriate social conditions in place’ are worrisome, since they imply social engineering on a vast scale, and even the end of human freedom.”
“As far as finding a ‘solution for the destabilizing aggression’ that is endemic among humans, I wonder if the PAS and the PASS might consider promoting Christianity, the greatest force for good the planet has ever seen, instead of wasting its resources propagating godless and bootless theories,” he said.
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, writing at the popular Catholic blog Fr. Z’s Blog, said the Vatican asking Ehrlich to speak at a conference was like asking “Sweeney Todd to cater your luncheon, [or] Jenna Jameson to preface your book on sacramental marriage, [or] Nero to head up the fire department, [or] Anthony Weiner to manage your social media, [or] Godfried Danneels to head your commission on abuse.”
Ehrlich’s paper will highlight “Population Numbers” as he discusses “Causes and Pathways of Biodiversity Losses.”