The so-called problem of overpopulation of the earth is partly real and partly unreasonably feared as an imminent catastrophe for modern society; but undoubtedly the rise of this problem and the continued failure to arrive at a solution of it is not due to some mixup or inertia on the part of divine Providence, but rather to disorder on man’s part — especially to his selfishness and avarice. With the progress that has been made in technology, with the ease of transportation, and with the new sources of energy that are just beginning to be tapped, the earth can promise prosperity to all those who will dwell on it for a long time to come. As for the future, who can foresee what new and unsuspected resources may be found on our planet, and what surprises may be uncovered outside of it by the wonderful scientific achievements that have just barely begun? And who can be sure that the natural rhythm of procreation will be the same in the future as it is now? Is it not possible that some law that will moderate the rhythm of expansion from within may come into play? Providence has reserved the future destiny of the world to itself. It is strange to find that the fears of some individuals are able to change well-founded hopes for prosperity into catastrophic spectre at the very moment when science is changing what used to be considered the dreams of wild imaginations into useful realities. So overpopulation is not a valid reason for spreading illicit birth control practices. It is simply a pretext used by those who would justify avarice and selfishness — by those nations, for instance, who fear that the expansion of others will pose a danger to their own political position and cause a lowering of the general standard of living, or by individuals, especially those who are better off, who prefer the greatest possible enjoyment of earthly goods to the praise and merit of bringing new lives into existence. The final result is that they break the fixed and certain laws of the Creator under the pretext of correcting supposed errors on the part of His Providence. It would be more reasonable and useful if modern society would make a more determined, universal effort to correct its own conduct, by removing the causes of hunger in the overpopulated or “depressed areas,” through a more active use of modern discoveries for peaceful aims, a more open political policy of collaboration and exchange, a more farseeing and less nationalistic economy; above all, by reacting to all suggestions of selfishness with charity, to those of avarice with a more concrete application of justice. God is not going to ask men for an accounting of the general destiny of mankind; that is His business; but He will demand an accounting of the single acts that they have deliberately performed in accordance with or against the dictates of conscience. As for you, parents and children of large families, keep on giving a serene and firm testimony of your trust in divine Providence, and be assured that He will not fail to repay you with the testimony of His daily help and, whenever necessary, with those extraordinary helps that many of you have been happy to experience already. And now a few words on your third testimony — words that may give new strength to those who are fearful and bring you a little comfort. Large families are the most splendid flower-beds in the garden of the Church; happiness flowers in them and sanctity ripens in favorable soil. Every family group, even the smallest, was meant by God to be an oasis of spiritual peace. But there is a tremendous difference: where the number of children is not much more than one, that serene intimacy that gives value to life has a touch of melancholy or of pallor about it; it does not last as long, it may be more uncertain, it is often clouded by secret fears and remorse.
Catholic families live on faith in Jesus Christ…not through the secular messiahs of the U.N. with their population and environmental scams.