6.9 Is population growth wrong? What is this 'integral ecology' really? Is true sustainability possible? Should I ditch my phone?
Integral ecology considers the ecology of people, beasts, plants, and stones in themselves and in relation to the entirety of creation. Everything is interconnected. Responsible population growth is related to the available space and resources on the earth. The Catholic view on a just birth control through natural methods must be considered within the total framework of an integral ecology. Future parents should be free without government pressure to discern in prayer and conscience how many children they can responsibly maintain in this world.
Similarly, the only way to find sustainable solutions to the current global crisis is by stimulating an integral ecology in answer to God’s love. For example, producing and operating a phone takes a lot of resources and energy. But before you throw it out, discernment is needed. How important is your phone for you and others? How can you help those who are not yet connected to get a phone? How can you reduce its impact on the environment?
When is it moral to regulate births?
The regulation of births, which is an aspect of responsible fatherhood and motherhood, is objectively morally acceptable when it is pursued by the spouses without external pressure; when it is practiced not out of selfishness but for serious reasons; and with methods that conform to the objective criteria of morality, that is, periodic continence and use of the infertile periods [CCCC 497].
How should parents decide how many children they will have?
Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted… Let them thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already born and those which the future may bring. For this accounting they need to reckon with both the material and the spiritual conditions of the times as well as of their state in life. Finally, they should consult the interests of the family group, of temporal society, and of the Church herself. The parents themselves and no one else should ultimately make this judgment in the sight of God [Gaudium et Spes, 50].