A Not-So-Warm Welcome

Conscience‘s Humanae Vitae issue was spot-on, excellent, superb. Not well-known, however, is that less than a month after issuing the encyclical, Pope Paul VI flew to Bogotá, Colombia, to headline an outdoor Eucharistic Congress that was expected to draw close to a million participants. I happened to be there on vacation with my wife, who is Colombian. Things did not go well for Paul.

Colombia’s foreign minister was critical of the document and had to be replaced for PR reasons. Newspapers were printing letters to the editor from parish priests disagreeing with it. Paul’s motorcade from the airport was made to pass in front of the city’s largest family planning clinic. To top it off, the Eucharistic Congress was sparsely attended, leaving most of the 850,000 seats prepared for the event empty.

Pope Francis may have good words to say about action to counter climate change, but if he fails to rescind or deactivate the Vatican bans on contraception and abortion, they will insufficiently affect the threats to our planet from the overpopulation that fuels climate change and its concomitants.

President, Americans for Religious Liberty
Silver Spring, MD

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Email your letter to the editor to conscience@CatholicsforChoice.org