Yesterday, in a huge change of position for Ye Olde Catholic Churche, Pope “Swaggy F.” Francis spoke out against people reproducing “like rabbits.”
He replied with an unexpected turn of phrase: “Some people think that — excuse my expression here — that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits.”
“No. Parenthood is about being responsible. This is clear.”
Thanks, Papa! Abandoning the “be fruitful and multiply” and “every sperm is sacred” view of reproduction is a crucial step toward a more reasonable approach to population growth. And since addressing climate change also means ensuring that those disproportionately affected by it — women, minorities, people in developing countries — aren’t continuously trapped in cycles of poverty and suffering, we are especially pleased to see the Leviathan-esque Catholic church take a slow, creaky turn in the right direction.
However, an excellent way to two-fer-one your climate- and gender-equality goals is to give women access to contraception and reproductive healthcare. Around the world, an estimated 222 million women want but don’t have access to modern methods of birth control. So: Where does the Pope stand on birth control?
Still “firmly against,” per the BBC report. No surprises there, as his position is consistent with the rest of the Church: In the U.S., bishops are even trying to abolish sterilization procedures — the second-most popular form of birth control in the country, with 15.5 percent of reproductive-aged women choosing to get their tubes tied — from Catholic hospitals. With this and other forms of contraception off the table for practicing Catholics, that leaves so-called “natural” methods — or as I like to call it, the “Pull Out and Pray Plan.” These are not nearly as dependable as long-acting contraceptives or hormonal birth control.
To declare — after millennia of advocating for the exact opposite — that people stop popping out kids willy-nilly while simultaneously refusing to support modern contraception is the equivalent of asking someone to build a house with their hands tied behind their back. It makes absolutely zero sense. In the race to catch up to women of the 21st century, it looks like the Catholic Church got stuck somewhere around 1912.
Cool! At this rate, we’ll see you guys around 2400 — but all life on Earth may have sizzled away by then, so maybe we won’t see you at all.