Social injustice is cause of hunger in many lands
Catholic Herald Correspondent A WARN I NG against an acceptance of " pessimistic neomalthusian " doctrines dealing with population growth and food shortage, was given last week to the 1,000-member Food Congress
meeting in Washington.
The speaker, Mr. John C. Nagle, Permanent Secretary of the Irish Ministry of Agriculture, said that "a creed of materialism" was spread by "learned professors", anthropologists and historians who "have no more authority than I have to dictate to people their rate of population growth".
He further warned that developing countries who followed such a creed would be bitterly disappointed to find that happiness did not come solely from the achievement of material welfare, hut was dependent on "things of the spirit-.
Stressing that the Catholic Church favoured a temperate use of marriage rights and, of course, opposed illegitimacy, Mgr. Ligutti, official permanent observer of the Holy See to the Food and Agricultura) Organisation of the United Nations, said that the birth rate could be lowered "if necessary" as one of several possible remedies to food shortage.
"Indeed," said Mgr. Ligutti, "if
illegitimacy could he wiped out, there would no longer be any hunger problem in some countries." Social injustice, he emphasised. was a major cause of hunger in many lands and the sole reason for hunger in Latin America.
The chief task of the Washington Congress is to define what must be done to solve the world food problem in the short term (up to 1980) and the long term (A.D. 2000 'and beyond).
"The thing that we must realise is that the year 2000, by which time we expect to double our population. is not a date in the far-off future." said Mr. Sen, Director-General of FAO.
"A child born today will be just 37 years old at that time. Many of us will still be alive then," he commented.
Four special commissions are studying such problems as how to make the best use of old and new land: how to improve nutrition: how to increase productivity from the soil; the importance of education: the value of teaching home economics and the role that influential groups can play in the war against hunger.
Mr. Donald Tweedie, Secretary of the U.K. Freedom from Hunger Campaign Committee. re ported that 1,000 committees had been established in the U.K. in support of the campaign and 20,000 schools had been contacted.
CATHOLICS IN AUSTRALIA NUMBER 1 in 4.
vATHOLICS now comprise a quarter of the population in Australia according to statistics issued by thc Department of the Interior, Canberra.
Since 1954, the Catholic population has risen by 559,000. The total increase of the four main non-Catholic denominations (Angticap, Methodist, Preshyteriar and Lutheran) is 508.000.
The increase in the Catholic population since 1954 is over two per cent. This contrasts with a ne■ non-Catholic decrease of three pa. cent over the same period.
Part of the Catholic propor tional increase is attributed to immigration.