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Vatican says population control should recognise parents' rights

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Vatican's permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva, has expressed the Holy Sees preference for neither unlimited growth in world population nor the imposition of policies that attack the right of parents to freely decide how many children they will have.

Archbishop Martin was commenting over Vatican Radio for Thursday's observance of World Population Day.

The UN is seeking to stabilise population growth through family planning and reproductive health programs which, as attested in world conferences, some regard as the promotion of abortion.

"For many years, the Holy See has repeated what Vatican Council II confirmed on the right of parents to freely choose the number of children, to establish the temporal distance between births and the economic means to achieve these objectives," he added.

"Nature itself establishes a certain balance between generations," he said. "We have seen on many occasions that, when there is a radical intervention on this balance from outside, problems are created."

"In all this, the task of the Church is to support, to be close to families, to favour more suitable family policies in any part of the world and, in particular, to be on the side of women and children, who constitute the greater part of the population," Archbishop Martin added.


15 Jul 2002