Pope Francis, "rabbits" and the colonization of families
by Bernardo Cervellera
The controversy over Catholics who have children "like rabbits" has overshadowed the Pope’s message about ideological attacks on the family a "colonization" to be freed of. The UN and development agencies funds used for "reproductive health". Collaboration with other religious traditions, including Jews and Muslims vital to counter this "ideological colonization".

Rome (AsiaNews) - The dust has yet to settle over the controversy aroused by the words of Pope Francis that Catholics have "children like rabbits". Many Catholic husbands and wives who have large families, were offended that a Pope downgraded them to "baby making machines".

The press by and large, has ridden the tide of offended sentiments and taking (out of context) the Pope's words have decreed that real Catholic couples have only "three children". In fact, if we read exactly what the Pope said (see. AsiaNews.it, 19/01/2015, "On his flight home, the pope said that the gift of tears, the Filipino people, the people of God, were the real protagonists"), what we see from the outset that the Pope firstly apologized before using the expression - a sign that it was not his own thought, but a charge that the secular world often lays at the door of Catholics - and he reaffirmed  the Church's position on "responsible parenthood".

As for the "three children", Francis stressed that this is the figure necessary to maintain for a stable population, where the rate of population growth cancels out the drop caused by old age and death. But it was by no means the extent to which Catholic couples should strive for, so much so that after he even spoke of "responsible parenthood" and reiterated that, even for a poor family - like the many he encountered on his journey to the Philippines - "every child is a treasure," even if born into an already large family .

Unfortunately, the fuss about "rabbits", has effectively drowned out the Pope's words regarding the "ideological colonization" of the family. In the Q&A session with journalists on the papal plane, recalling some episodes from his experience, Francis said there are development agencies that promise aid in exchange for the spread of the ideology of gender. He recalled that "In the [last] synod African bishops complained about it. Certain loans are given "under certain conditions." For the pope, "the needs of a people" are exploited to manipulate for power reasons, in order to change the way of thinking of a people, starting with children.

He added: " This is nothing new.  Last century's dictatorships did it. They began with their doctrines: Remember the Balilla youth league [in Fascist Italy] and the Hitler Youth [in Nazi Germany's] with which they colonised people ". So, for the pope, a dictatorship is spreading in the world - similar to the Nazism - that wants to change the terms in which the traditional family - male, female, children - live. It is governed by principles of neo-Malthusian birth control, with obligations regarding the use of abortion and contraception, by imposing the ideology of gender on education systems.

In Manila, in the meeting with the families, Pope Francis reiterated: "There is an ideological colonization that seek to destroy the family ... ... The family is threatened by the increasing attempts by some to redefine the very institution of marriage by relativism, the culture of the ephemeral, a lack of openness to life.

It is impressive to see the figures of the funds that the UN dedicates to so-called "reproductive health", which includes contraception, abortion, gender education: almost 70 billion US dollars for  Sub-Saharan Africa alone; 1.75 billion for South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, added to which is the contribution of the World Health Organization which provides 7 billion US dollars a year to prevent "unwanted complications of motherhood" and 16 billion for 2015 for generic "care of the mother, newborn, baby," which include "family planning."

The Pope asked Catholics in the Philippines and in the world to combat this colonization. The division created by the controversy about the "rabbits" has overshadowed this decisive message.

Other religions are also involved in the fight against ideological colonization of the family, particularly Judaism and Islam. Therefore, despite the violence of Islamic fundamentalism, Pope Francis never ceases to say that "never before" has dialogue with the world of Islam been so necessary.

It is no coincidence that at the UN conference in Cairo in 1994, on Population and Development, it was precisely the alliance between Catholic and Muslim representatives that stopped the proclamation of abortion as a "normal" method of contraception. The fight against the "ideological colonization" of the family is the most urgent battle of our time.