Prelate says natural birth control can ease climate impact

A cardinal has said natural birth control could “offer a solution” to the impacts of climate change, particularly the lack of food in a warmer world.

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana told the BBC the Church has never been against natural family planning.

During the Pope’s trip back from the Philippines, the Pontiff invited people to some form of birth control, the cardinal told the BBC.

This is “because the Church has never been against birth control and people spacing out births and all of that. So yes, it can offer a solution”, he said.

“Having more mouths to feed is a challenge for us to be productive also, which is one of the key issues being treated over here [in Paris at the COP21 talks], the cultivation and production of food, and its distribution.

“So yes it engages us in food security management, so we ensure that everybody is fed and all of that.

“The amount of population that is critical for the realisation of this is still something we need to discover, yet the Holy Father has also called for a certain amount of control of birth.”

Cardinal Turkson was at pains to stress that artificial birth control methods such as the contraceptive pill were still beyond the pale as far as the Church was concerned.

“You don’t deal with one good with another evil: the Church wants people to be fed, so let’s do what the Church feels is not right?

“That is a kind of sophistry that the Church would not go for,” he said.

Cardinal Turkson, who heads the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is believed to have played a significant role in the drafting of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’.

Speaking in Paris, the cardinal called for a strong agreement that would protect the most vulnerable nations.

He said climate change was a looming ecological disaster.


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