Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata warned this week that the fall of the birthrate is “an urgent and very serious problem,” and that “it is not only a cultural, social and political issue, but also an ethical and religious one as well.”
In his television program, “Keys to a Better World,” the archbishop commented on a study published in Italy entitled, “Why We Should Have More Kids. The Consequences of the Drop in Births.”
After recalling the 40th anniversary of the publication of Humanae Vitae, the archbishop said Paul VI’s letter dealt with “a problem that was already resolved in the moral tradition of the Church.”
“In that encyclical the Pope warned about the consequences that would follow from the alteration of married life and the family order. One of them is what the countries that have entered a sort demographic winter are experiencing,” the archbishop added.
He lamented that the Pope’s famous letter was not heeded like it should have been. “Even within the Church herself it was disputed and many tried to discredit the Pope’s message in it.”
Archbishop Aguer suggested the encyclical be re-read, because the problem of the fall of the birthrate requires a “reformulation of the Christian conscience” and renewed adherence to “this norm of the natural order.”
“Marriage was made not only for the union of the two persons involved but also for the transmission of life. The unitive and the procreative meanings of the conjugal act cannot be dissociated from each other with impunity,” the archbishop stated.