UN: Catholic Church not contributing to population boom

With the world population about to hit seven billion, the United Nations says the teaching of the Catholic Church isn’t really a factor, in part because few people actually follow it :

The Catholic Church’s ban on the use of contraception is not to blame for the population boom that is about to tip the world over the seven billion mark because most Catholics ignore it, a UN Population Fund (UNFPA) official said on Wednesday.

“In Catholic countries like Italy, Spain or Malta people are still using contraceptives like condoms, so the Church ban is not having an impact,” Safiye Cagar, director of the information and external relations division at UNFPA, told a news briefing.

“Besides, the population growth in Catholic countries is limited compared to other parts of world,” said Cagar.

Some 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptive methods banned by the church, according a recent report by the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit sexual health research organization.

The U.N. expects the world’s population to reach seven billion by October 31, and global resources are being stretched thin to meet the growing demand.

The U.N. projects the world population will reach 9.3 billion in 2050 and 10.1 billion by 2100.

Much of that growth will come from Africa, where the population is growing at 2.3 percent a year — more than double Asia’s 1 percent growth rate. If that rate stays consistent, which is not certain, Africa’s population will more than triple to 3.6 billion by 2100 from the current 1 billion.


  1. So the data suggest that to lower birth rates in Africa, we need to convert more of them to Catholicism and then they will start using birth control more often as a form of pushback to bishops and doctrine. Reverse psychology is a winding road, but it gets you there!

  2. naturgesetz says:

    “Some 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptive methods banned by the church …”

    Somebody is ignorant. The Church does not ban any contraceptive methods. The Church teaches that certain methods of contraception are inherently immoral as is a “contraceptive mentality” at work even in the use of legitimate methods.

    I wonder whether the ignorance includes the Guttmacher Institute and Safiye Cagar in addition to the reporter for Reuters who wrote the story with the false information.

  3. naturgesetz #2:

    “The Church teaches that certain methods of contraception are inherently immoral as is a “contraceptive mentality” at work even in the use of legitimate methods.”

    Re: Legitimate methods:

    If you are referring to NFP, I don’t think that the users and proponents of Natural Family Planning consider it to be a legitimate “contraceptive” method.

  4. That’s not a meaningful distinction outside of the circle of professional theologians. Whether the church’s doctrines have the word “ban” or not, Catholics are told in an official capacity they’re not supposed to use contraception. To the extent they were able to hold influence over secular governments in places like Ireland and Latin America, they did, in fact ban or greatly limit access to contraception.

  5. Birth control as laid out in humane Vitae led us to everything else we see today predicted by Pope Paul VI and to the culture of death in our society. That some bishops and priests were part of this movement to lead us in this way speaks volumes about where dissent takes us. Those priests and bishops who outright dissented or gave a wink to OK the use of these agents of death should have been excommunicated at the time. We are all paying the price for the failure of the Church to act to save lives and to prevent what has happened as outlined by the Pope.

    However, the good news we are seeing is a massive movement in our parish and many others by younger parents to utilize Natural Family Planning and to say yes to God’s desire to create life. They have seen the devastation and do not want to go down the road of the baby boomers. We of course do not know how many babies were killed by birth control or how many cancers resulted from their wide use. SAD.

  6. Deacon Greg,

    These numbers don’t jive with the demographic data that I have. I’ll be checking with some folks at Human Life International ad writing a response to the U.N. within a week or two.

    Their alarmist numbers and rhetoric are always used to sell abortion and contraception, especially in Africa. More to follow…

  7. I have always felt that one of the strengths of NFP was that it required the cooperation and communication of both spouses, and in that way helped the marriage. Dr. Evelyn Billings did some work on developing a way to teach NFP in the third world in situations where literacy was limited. However in some cultures the degree of equality between the spouses necessary to make NFP successful isn’t there. This article is depressing:
    What is a women in these circumstances to do, if her husband basically treats her like a brood mare, with little regard for her health; and considers that his masculinity is dependent on siring as many children as possible, whether or not they can feed them, let alone provide anything else? I don’t have an answer.

  8. Catholic Church not contributing to population boom. Is very sad!

  9. I’m with John. If we’re not, we should be. Don’t buy this population control nonsense. There is plenty of food for the world. We have a food distribution problem, not a shortage.

  10. If you and your family are the ones who don’t have any food, it’s not going to matter to you if it’s a supply or distribution problem. Water may actually be the worst problem in some places. Without water, crops fail. Not to mention drinking water.
    I agree that population control imposed by governments is not the answer. But as Christians we have an obligation to think seriously about these things, and not just shrug our shoulders and be in denial that there are huge problems.

  11. “Some 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptive methods banned by the church …”

    I for one would hang up on any poll conducted by the Guttmacher Institute. Since I’m sure I’m not alone, I can’t believe their results.

Leave a Comment