Should motherhood and childbearing be affirmed rather than feared?
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The Vatican's permanent observer at the United Nations on Tuesday urged the international body to abandon policies that treat childbearing as "something to be feared rather than affirmed" and marginalize the poor as "inconsequential objects" whose populations should be reduced.
Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See, said that UN policy must be directed at supporting the family and thus "foster a new ethic for development."
"Unfortunately many discussions in the present day continue to be led by a false notion that, in the context of population growth, the very act of giving life is something to be feared rather than affirmed," stated Chullikatt.
"Such thinking is based on a radical individualism which sees human reproduction as a commodity that must be regulated and improved in order to encourage greater market efficiency and development."
Chullikatt emphasized "the paramount importance of respect for the inherent dignity of the human person in all development efforts" and stated that fears over the effect of overpopulation on the environment were based on "consistently disproven theory."
The archbishop specifically criticized the Secretary General's report for suggesting that the rate of childbearing in developing countries is a problem to be stemmed, and called it a "tragic theory" to suppose that the suffering of the world's poor should be alleviated by eliminating poor people themselves.
"This distorted world-view regards the poor as a problem to be commoditized and managed as if they were inconsequential objects rather than as unique persons with innate dignity and worth who require the full commitment of the international community to provide assistance so that they can realize their full potential," he said.
We agree: Children are precious gifts, not products. Motherhood should be affirmed not feared!