Church must be part of over-population solution: Priest

The publisher of an Asian Catholic news website has called for the Church to play a role in reducing the Earth’s human population.

In an opinion piece posted on, Fr William Grimm noted that Pope Francis’s recent encyclical Laudato Si’ dismissed concerns about overpopulation as a major source of the ecological crisis.

Fr Grimm wrote that: “ . . . [E]ven if wisdom, care and generosity were to suddenly break out all over the world, our huge population would still require that a major portion of the world’s surface be devoted to food production and the oceans would still have to be heavily harvested to feed us all.”

“It would not be impossible,” the Tokyo-based Maryknoll priest wrote.

“In fact, some ecologically sound practices combined with a more just distribution of food could feed us all with less damage to the environment than we currently inflict upon it.

“But the fact remains that even reasonable use of our environment by so many billions would continue to have a huge impact upon the whole Earth, including crowding out other creatures and environments with whom we should share it.

“Our educational, social and economic resources are not capable of providing a decent human life for all of us.

“We must reduce our numbers as well as our use and abuse of resources.”

Fr Grimm wrote that the Church must play a role in reducing population, because it can present a vision of a decent human life that should then be part of any goals.

“In short, if we can say, ‘This is what the lives of God’s children should be’, then we can figure out how many people can live those lives on this small planet.”

Fr Grimm wrote that abortion and forced sterilisation are immoral, and mandatory birth control measures inflicted by the wealthy on the poor are unjust.

“[But] educating women and liberating the most dismally poor from their plight are two of the most effective methods of population control . . . .”


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