Two advocates of population control have been invited by pontifical academies to speak at the Vatican.
The Pontifical Academy of Science (PAS) and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) are hosting an international conference on the environment
at the end of February and have invited Paul Ehrlich, author of The
Population Bomb, and John Bongaarts, an executive of the Population
Council, to speak at the event.
The choice of Ehrlich is controversial not only due to his views on
population but also as a result of his remarks about the Church and its
In 2015 Ehrlich denounced Laudato Si as “raving nonsense” for its
failure to recognise the importance of contraception and abortion when
dealing with climate change.
Meanwhile, in an article for the scientific journal Nature last year,
John Bongaarts wrote: “Women should have the choice of multiple
contraceptive methods – including not only pills, injectables and
barrier methods, but also long-acting methods such as intrauterine
devices and systems (IUDs and IUSs), implants and sterilisation.
“Where legal, safe abortion services should be made available. Other
obstacles to contraceptive use, such as incorrect rumours about side
effects and conservative social attitudes, should be addressed by the
education of women and men, media campaigns and collaboration with
Michael Pakaluk, a philosophy professor at the Catholic University of America, has criticised the invitation.
In an article for Cruxnow.com
he wrote: “Moral theologians would speak in this context of ‘formal
cooperation with evil’: to share in the evil commitments of another,
they say, is to share in that evil – and to share, too, in
responsibility for whatever further abortions, and corruptions of the
marital bond, that Ehrlich and Bongaarts succeed in bringing about.
“The evil is compounded by the fact that an invitation to address any
Pontifical Academy is a great honour. This honour can and will be used
by these men in promoting their message. The US bishops have correctly
written: ‘Catholic institutions should not honour those who act in
defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given
awards, honours or platforms which would suggest support for their
“Note that this principle is not binding because the bishops have
articulated it; rather, the bishops have articulated it, because the
principle is antecedently binding. It would seem to bind even a
Pakaluk also highlighted that Ehrlich once likened the Pope to a
terrorist, saying that the Vatican and “their rigid opposition to
something so basic, so critical to the future of life on Earth, as
controlling reproduction, to be just as unethical as any major affront
to the environment or terrorist act”.
In a recent interview with lifesitenews.com, Ehrlich said he was “delighted” with the direction the Pope was taking the Church in.