Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The collapsing birthrate in the developed world
Homiletic and Pastoral Review | February 2001 | Fr John F. Kobler

Posted on 10/17/2001 12:06:45 PM PDT by ex-snook

The collapsing birthrate in the developed world
By John F. Kobler

A few years ago one of our Passionist retreat house directors told me he was thinking of using “The Culture of Death” as the theme for the forthcoming year’s retreat talks. However sympathetic I was to this important theme of John Paul II, I told him frankly he didn’t have the horses! At that time I did not think the generality of preachers had a realistic grasp of the complexities of this problem nor a comprehension of the entrenched cultural opposition to the Church’s teachings on sexual morality. I am happy to say that the situation is now changing. A large segment of the secular culture is becoming aware of a serious demographic crisis, especially in the developed world. I would like to list some of the new data and insights reinforcing this changing outlook.

Peter F. Drucker, as you know, is the leading management theorist in the U. S. One of his latest books is Management Challenges for the 21st Century (NY: HarperBusiness, 1999). His second chapter (pp. 44-50) starts out: “The most important single new certainty — if only because there is no precedent for it in all of history — is the collapsing birthrate in the developed world.” Drucker lists the general figures for Western and Central Europe (e. g., the mostly Catholic countries of Portugal, Spain, Southern France, and Italy), and Japan. All of these nations are drifting toward collective suicide by the end of the 21st century. Italy is the nation at present most given to contraceptive practices!

In his book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1996), Samuel P. Huntington offers some comparative population growth figures between Christianity and Islam (pp. 65-66) and concludes:

It is good to recall that Islam today is going through a great religious resurgence of a virulent anti-Western nature, and in some areas of a violent anti-Catholic nature. In chapter 12, “The West, Civilizations, and Civilization,” Huntington has some sobering and instructive observations on the need for “Renewal of the West” and the problems posed by multi-culturalism in the United States.

 

I am aware that the above sources are contested on occasion. Therefore, I recommend an even more authoritative source: Replacement Migration: Is it A Solution to Declining and Aging Populations?, published by the Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Secretariat (ESA/P/WP.160, 21 March 2000, English only). This lengthy brochure (pp. viii, 143) studies the dwindling populations of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Europe, and the European Union. In a quite clinical and antiseptic way this study sums up the explosive challenges facing this collapsing birthrate (p. 95):

In the light of the above demographic facts I believe that since 1968 Catholic theologians and moralists who have endorsed contraception have done a distinct disservice to the magisterium of the Church and the moral fibber of Catholics in general. More and more it is becoming evident that such theologians are isolating themselves from grassroots Catholic concerns and are largely talking to themselves in their university enclaves. A fine article by William Dean may be found in Criterion, a publication of The Divinity School of The University of Chicago, vol. 39:1 (Winter, 2000) 24-29, under the title, “The Voluntary Decline of Public Theologians.” Dean’s remarks aimed primarily at Protestant theologians apply in large part to the liberal elite of Catholic university theologians and moralists in the U. S.:

I know of only one Catholic demographer, Michel Schooyans, Professor of the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, who has grappled with the theme of “A World in Crisis,” and pointed out the present-day context and implications of the collapsing birthrate in the Western world. I became interested in Schooyans’ works because the crisis of the modern world is the larger context within which I view the pastoral rethinking of Vatican II. I must admit that, while I may have appreciated the philosophical antecedents of these problems, their concrete expression in Communism and Nazism, and Third World poverty problems, Schooyans opened my mind to the Totalitarian Trend of our Liberal Culture. Schooyans’ vision of the modern world is shaped by a deep Catholic faith and a profound scholarship. His ideas would give depth to any preacher of renewal today.

 

Three of Schooyans’ books have been translated into English: i. e., The Totalitarian Trend of Liberalism, The Gospel Confronting World Disorder, and The Demographic Crash: From Fatalism to Hope (forthcoming). All three books have been translated by Fr. John H. Miller, C.S.C, S.T.D., editor of the Social Justice Review in St. Louis. The books may be obtained from the Central Bureau, CCVA, 3835 Westminster Place, St. Louis, MO 63108. One of the outstanding qualities of Schooyans’ books is his familiarity with the data provided by international organizations (e. g., the UN) and governmental sources (e. g., U. S.). He also displays a profound acquaintance with the social encyclicals of the Holy See.

I would like to conclude by drawing attention to two issues deriving from the widespread contraceptive practices in the world today. Schooyans points out that much of the radical feminist movement is a modern version of the Marxist theme of class warfare. Lastly, Lionel Tiger, the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University, has a powerful book, The Decline of Males (NY: Golden Books, 1999). Tiger attributes the massive changes in society between men and women to effective contraception, the cause of today’s “gender wars.”

I close in a lighter vein: due to the decline of males on campus a number of colleges have designated their male applicants as the new candidates for affirmative action!


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-111 next last
"In the long run, however, Mohammed wins out. Christianity spreads primarily by conversion. Islam by conversion and reproduction. "

Any chance of recovery or have we doomed ourselves?

1 posted on 10/17/2001 12:06:45 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
The Catholic Church has been witnessing to the evils of birth control, abortion and casual sex since before the Constitution was signed.

There'd be twenty million more people in this developed country without abortion, for starters.

2 posted on 10/17/2001 12:10:40 PM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: patent
Added incentive for larger Christian families. :)
3 posted on 10/17/2001 12:15:11 PM PDT by antidisestablishment
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
Truthfully it looks pretty bad. Reason #1 for hating selfish Baby Boomers, the worst generation. They didn't have enough kids to support them in their old age and then they sold out their countries from underneath their own children that they did have by importing millions of third world workers.
4 posted on 10/17/2001 12:16:56 PM PDT by okie_tech
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: antidisestablishment
Mormans as a percentage of the population will be absolutely huge in 50 years because of this.
5 posted on 10/17/2001 12:18:20 PM PDT by okie_tech
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
As I've been saying on other threads, we owe Osama Bin Laden a debt of thanks for starting this war too soon. It was his biggest miscalculation. If the Muslims had waited another 50 years or so, Europe would have aborted itself into oblivion, and the Muslim guest-workers there would have outnumbered their ex-Christian hosts. The US balance would not have been as bad as that, but it would have been much worse than it is now. Now, though, just possibly, people may begin to wake up from the shock, although it's very late in the day.

Fixing a demographic disaster like the one the Culture of Death has inflicted on itself will take 25 years or more. And reversal will only be possible if Europeans and Americans can throw off the decadence into which they have drifted and find new energy and purpose.

6 posted on 10/17/2001 12:20:18 PM PDT by Cicero
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wideawake; ouroboros; DoughtyOne; Mercuria
"The Catholic Church has been witnessing to the evils of birth control, abortion and casual sex "

Then Catholics just may be the last Christian remnant as the West kill itself off.

7 posted on 10/17/2001 12:23:28 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: okie_tech
Actually the LDS Church has "moderated" its stand on large families. There has already been a decline in LDS family size and it will probably continue to decrease.

Of course, wars result in higher birth rates though the increased births rarely exceed the number of casualties.

8 posted on 10/17/2001 12:24:39 PM PDT by antidisestablishment
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
Maybe - if all Catholics would just listen to their Church's teaching on life.
9 posted on 10/17/2001 12:26:26 PM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: JMJ333
Just the way you like it :)
10 posted on 10/17/2001 12:27:56 PM PDT by gcruse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
the moral fibber of Catholics in general.

Would this moral fibber be the conscience of, say, "Catholics for a Free Choice"? Or Clinton, perhaps? Typos can be insightful, on occasion.

11 posted on 10/17/2001 12:32:52 PM PDT by Dumb_Ox
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
There are many reasons for the decline.

Two of my favorites are first "affluenza". Once a people become rich, they become complacent. We, in the west, have achieved social stability beyond our wildest dreams and now we don't need excess children.

The second reason that I favor is simply that the western/modern lifestyle precludes having many children. Large families in the past used to be an economic benefit because children could work on farms and cottage industries to help the family.

Today, a large family is an economic liability.

It costs a great deal of money to rear children in an affluent society and so fewer children get a larger percentage of the family income.

You all know the parent with one or two children who shower them with everything popular culture produces. If not for tremendous social to “keep you kid competative”, families would have more money to spend on more children.

12 posted on 10/17/2001 12:39:51 PM PDT by SocialMeltdown
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
Twenty million? More like 45 million! And that's 45 million more people under the age of 30!
13 posted on 10/17/2001 12:45:46 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
Twenty million? More like 45 million! And that's 45 million more people under the age of 30!
14 posted on 10/17/2001 12:45:49 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
As women become more powerful, affluent and intelligent, many find that being pregnant and raising children isn't the only way to go. Hence, less births. It'll happen in any culture that allows women freedom.
15 posted on 10/17/2001 12:49:44 PM PDT by JmyBryan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Arthur McGowan
Humanae Vitae ... it's not just a good idea ... it's the [natural] law.
16 posted on 10/17/2001 12:54:02 PM PDT by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
OK everybody! All married Freepers of reproductive age, stop typing and start breeding! We've got a lot of catching up to do!!
17 posted on 10/17/2001 12:54:50 PM PDT by wimpycat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JmyBryan
It'll happen in any culture that allows women freedom.

Extinction is the natural result of allowing women freedom?

We aren't talking about people have slightly smaller families. If you have an average birthrate well under 2.0 children per woman, you're talking about the eventual extinction of the culture. The mathematics are not very forgiving.

I'd suggest that maybe women don't have enough freedom. They have the freedom to do what men do, but not the freedom to be mothers. My wife just conceived our fourth child. You ought to hear the flak she's getting from her own parents over it.

18 posted on 10/17/2001 12:58:17 PM PDT by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: JmyBryan
Too many overeducated women or men is a disease which could be cured by a return to COMMON SENSE. We should also defund NPR, PBS and the liberal arts programs in the universities.

YUPPIE BOBOS MUST DIE!!!

Thats my rant for today.

19 posted on 10/17/2001 1:00:28 PM PDT by Clemenza
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Campion
My wife just conceived our fourth child. You ought to hear the flak she's getting from her own parents over it.

I know a couple in their mid-30s with 7 kids. You can imagine the shocked looks and comments that total strangers seem perfectly within their rights to give them. This is bad enough, but the youngest child has Downs Syndrome, and I've heard people actually say things to the effect of "it serves you right" to the parents, as if they deserved such a thing because of their audacity in choosing to have a large family. "Choice" is a one-way street, apparently.

20 posted on 10/17/2001 1:15:23 PM PDT by workerbee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
Developed nations have fewer children because they cannot afford more whereas people in the third world can.
21 posted on 10/17/2001 1:17:19 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: antidisestablishment
While the civilized world is being careful not to overpopulate the world, the Islamics are busy trying to fill it up!
22 posted on 10/17/2001 1:32:59 PM PDT by tessalu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
"And reversal will only be possible if Europeans and Americans can throw off the decadence into which they have drifted and find new energy and purpose. "

You make good points and have the right recipe. The political climate coupled with today's me life style first must change. I see no major political leaders in sight with the vision needed.

23 posted on 10/17/2001 1:41:48 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SocialMeltdown
"Two of my favorites are first "affluenza". Once a people become rich, they become complacent. We, in the west, have achieved social stability beyond our wildest dreams and now we don't need excess children. "

Like your 'word'. But perhaps children are needed to pay for their social security. Seems we won't have the same workers per retiree that we once had. So in that sense children are still needed for support if children are looked at strictly as 'economic' tools. Maybe that is why we are importing the future 'social security' payers. And where will they be from other than nations that are having children. But after awhile they might just tell us to shove it and work on their own economy rather than being our service class.

24 posted on 10/17/2001 1:49:04 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: gcruse
Yes, I like H&PR--Actually, Dr. Carlin writes for them as well--They are predominantly Jesuit.

Thanks for the flag--bttt

25 posted on 10/17/2001 1:49:25 PM PDT by JMJ333
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
Thanks for posting! :)
bttt
26 posted on 10/17/2001 1:50:16 PM PDT by JMJ333
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gcruse
Heck--I said they were Jesuit and the first line mentions the passionists...*sigh*

I coulda SWORN... ;)

27 posted on 10/17/2001 1:51:42 PM PDT by JMJ333
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
In the long run, however, Mohammed wins out.

Bwahahhaahhahahhaahhahahahehehhehehehehehe.

Somone should tell this poster that Mohammed is dead, and that Biblical prophecy is still winning.
28 posted on 10/17/2001 1:52:44 PM PDT by Righter-than-Rush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArGee; Askel5; Squire; HistoryBuff
bttt
29 posted on 10/17/2001 1:53:33 PM PDT by JMJ333
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Campion
" My wife just conceived our fourth child. You ought to hear the flak she's getting from her own parents over it."

Blessings! We got static from neighbors about school taxes and now my children are paying for their social security and health benefits. We used to call them DINKS - Double Income No Kids. Now it's TLADS - Two Lexus And Dog.

30 posted on 10/17/2001 2:01:23 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
We don't need no stinkin' political leaders, though their support and affirmation would be a good thing.

Real demographic change comes from the bottom up.

31 posted on 10/17/2001 2:02:29 PM PDT by coydog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: SlickWillard
Heads up!
32 posted on 10/17/2001 2:04:56 PM PDT by JMJ333
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: coydog
Real demographic change comes from the bottom up.

Will never happen so long as the voting majority listens to the radio & TV.
33 posted on 10/17/2001 2:05:15 PM PDT by Righter-than-Rush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Righter-than-Rush
"Bwahahhaahhahahhaahhahahahehehhehehehehehe. "

Dream on - wake up in a few hundred years.

34 posted on 10/17/2001 2:07:08 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: coydog
"We don't need no stinkin' political leaders, though their support and affirmation would be a good thing. Real demographic change comes from the bottom up. "

There is truth in what you say but then how did we get this way? Leading comes from leaders.

35 posted on 10/17/2001 2:12:12 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
Dream on - wake up in a few hundred years.

No dream required. Mohammed has been proven bologne... the Bible keeps on proving itself true. This place aint gonn abe here in a few hundered years. End of thread.
36 posted on 10/17/2001 2:12:38 PM PDT by Righter-than-Rush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Campion
I'd suggest that maybe women don't have enough freedom. They have the freedom to do what men do, but not the freedom to be mothers. My wife just conceived our fourth child. You ought to hear the flak she's getting from her own parents over it.
That’s the awful truth. My wife’s mom had six. She keeps telling Mrs. Patent that we should “take a break” and that another would be too much (we have three so far) despite how clearly we have told her that we do not want too and are not going to stop. If the current popular viewpoint were about women’s freedom they wouldn’t object so fiercely to our having the freedom to have more. Strangely enough, my mom (the liberal one) only made those comments once. I think

Something far deeper motivates the current mindset than freedom.

patent  +AMDG

37 posted on 10/17/2001 2:18:17 PM PDT by patent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: workerbee
I know a couple in their mid-30s with 7 kids. You can imagine the shocked looks and comments that total strangers seem perfectly within their rights to give them. This is bad enough, but the youngest child has Downs Syndrome, and I've heard people actually say things to the effect of "it serves you right" to the parents, as if they deserved such a thing because of their audacity in choosing to have a large family. "Choice" is a one-way street, apparently.
We know a family with either 6 or 7 (higher math is not my strong suit) whose most recent has Downs. I’m sure they’ve received the same types of looks, etc. Their response: she is pregnant again. Beautiful family too.

patent  +AMDG

38 posted on 10/17/2001 2:20:32 PM PDT by patent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Righter-than-Rush
"Mohammed has been proven bologne"

?????? but his followers seem to believe more in Biblical 'increasing and multiplying' than Christians and their Jewish counterparts.

39 posted on 10/17/2001 2:21:02 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: JMJ333
Heck--I said they were Jesuit and the
first line mentions the passionists...*sigh*

D'oh !!  Whut?

40 posted on 10/17/2001 2:24:28 PM PDT by gcruse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
unlike european countries and the japanese, the united states is melding in with the 3rd world. the u.s. of the 21st c. will be a world culture.

the japanese are racists and don't allow much immigration. the few minorities they do have suffer.

demographers in the u.s. have been aware of this trend since at least 1965, when the u.s. congress changed immigration law to favor 3rd world immigrants.

since then there has been a defacto policy of allowing people to cross the borders, enjoyed by both political parties. the dems like the new voters and the pubs like the cheap labor.

41 posted on 10/17/2001 2:27:45 PM PDT by ken21
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
I applaud your eariler post and add a hearty: Amen!

I think your 20 million figure is low however.

For some great Catholic activism on abortion check out www.excommunication.net!!!

Keep up the good work!

42 posted on 10/17/2001 2:32:53 PM PDT by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Mike Darancette
"Developed nations have fewer children because they cannot afford more whereas people in the third world can. "

Good one. Maybe the third worlders don't have to worry about environmental worship. They just have rocks and sand to be concerned with. The environment nazis (or communists) sold zero population growth. After all more children pollute the world.

43 posted on 10/17/2001 2:35:22 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
Is keeping the population soaring a woman's duty to society?

Are we all saying that a free person in this country must subjugate their goals and dreams for their life, in order to fulfill a duty, one that is not their choice, but instead imposed upon them by a fearful society?

Maybe we should have some street enforcers, like the Taliban, and any woman not pregnant gets beaten?

Amazingly, fat becomes fashionable again ...

44 posted on 10/17/2001 2:43:25 PM PDT by That Poppins Woman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tessalu
We must factor in the fact that many have multiple wives which is increasing their population exponentially.
45 posted on 10/17/2001 2:44:35 PM PDT by Aliska
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
The environment nazis (or communists) sold zero population growth.

Poppy Bush is a MAJOR fan of zero population growth. Do some historical research on the man. This was one of the major causes for the Bush family's falling out with the Vatican.

46 posted on 10/17/2001 2:45:26 PM PDT by That Poppins Woman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: gcruse
Heck--I said they were Jesuit and the first line mentions the passionists...*sigh*

D'oh !! Whut?

The Jesuits and the Passionists are orders inside the Catholic Church--There are many more, i.e, The Franciscans-An order founded by St. Francis of Assisi, or the Dominicans [a teaching order] founded by St. Dominic.

The passionists focus their prayer and meditate on the sufferings and passion of Christ as one of their rules. They are my favorite order of Priests. :)

47 posted on 10/17/2001 2:48:40 PM PDT by JMJ333
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: ken21
"unlike european countries and the japanese, the united states is melding in with the 3rd world. the u.s. of the 21st c. will be a world culture. the japanese are racists and don't allow much immigration. the few minorities they do have suffer. "

Well maybe we will just join the 3rd world then. But I think that Europe is also bringing in 3rd world immigrants. I don't know why Japan does not like immigration but Israel doesn't have wide open borders either. Both might have their own reasons.

48 posted on 10/17/2001 2:49:42 PM PDT by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: That Poppins Woman
Are we all saying that a free person in this country must subjugate their goals and dreams for their life, in order to fulfill a duty, one that is not their choice, but instead imposed upon them by a fearful society?

Subjugate their goals? Why should a tiny human being [with as much worth as you] be violently murdered so that you can be free to have sex without consequence? Have a little mercy on those who can't defend themselves. Responsibility is key though--You might have to put the life of the child *above* yourself and your own needs.

49 posted on 10/17/2001 2:52:47 PM PDT by JMJ333
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
Any chance of recovery or have we doomed ourselves?

Repeal the income tax, payroll tax, and laws banning polygamy. Then enforce the right to life of the unborn.

50 posted on 10/17/2001 2:54:01 PM PDT by Orbiting_Rosie's_Head
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-111 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson