CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE ON POPULATION There are many perspectives from which it is possible to analyze these problems. But in the Roman Catholic perspective of liberation theology, there is only one: these problems must be considered and interpreted in terms of justice theory from the perspective of the poor and oppressed. This perspective includes poor people and the poor embattled earth.
From this perspective we are able to see that the uncontrollable population growth in poor nations, overconsumption with destruction of nonrenewable resources in developed nations, and the consequent ecological disaster, are all due"ÃÂin the final analysis"ÃÂto the great injustice produced by the economic systems and structures with their supporting ideologies that are sustained by the rich masters of the world economy Indeed, the population of the poorest countries grows at very high rates and the population of the richest countries remains stable or decreases The population problems reflect the distributional inequities.
In each country as well as in the world at large, the richest population even in poor countries remains the same or declines. The poorest population in these countries always multiplies. When the death rate among children is high, people will have more children so that they will at least end up with a few.
There is also a relationship between poverty and migration of poor populations, which magnifies the immense injustice and inequity in the distribution of resources. The growth of poor populations generates migrations, and migrations increase poverty in quantity and quality. The fast growth of poor populations and migrants frequently leads them to establish their settlements in fragile environmental places or in marginal suburban areas where inhuman standards of life deteriorate the environment. They suffer from the lack of education, economic incapacity, and from the very harm they must do the environment simply to survive. The poor also bear the brunt of environmental damage since the rich gobble up the rare resources. The majority of the world's peoples are poor and they are the prime victims"ÃÂalong with future generations"ÃÂof the ecocide that is ongoing We can conclude that increasing uncontrolled population growth, overconsumption, and ecological instability enlarge economic and social injustice and the gap between rich and poor. The injustice in all of this Pope John XXIII considered the relationship between population growth and the lack of resources both a world problem and a particularly difficult problem for poorest countries. How can economic development and the supply of food keep pace with the continual rise in population? This is a question that constantly obtrudes itself today"ÃÂa world problem, as well as one for the poverty-stricken nations The problem of population growth presents a quite disconcerting situation in the Catholic Church. Catholic practice has changed. In Catholic countries like those of Latin America, there is a rapid decrease of population in the last years due to the use of contraception. Some statistics state that almost 80 percent of Catholics in the world use contraception for family planning. The Vatican II Council was very clear in denouncing the great injustice contained in the gap between rich and poor persons and nations due to the use and accumulation of goods that God has designated for the use of all The new Catholic theology believes in empowering the poor and the weak