The Vatican has for decades urged family planning policies that attempted to grow the base of the church, and its income, in a way that destroyed our environment and now threatens to kill millions. Their policies enriched themselves at deadly costs to others.
The have, after being asked, refused to share even some of that wealth as family reparations that would save lives.
They must be held accountable.
The Vatican has roughly thirty-three billion dollars in net worth. It’s not about population. People are not numbers. It’s about the impossibility of separating values like welfare, equity, and nature from their creation.
As Nobel Laureate Steven Chu noted, growth-based systems have acted like a Ponzi scheme that has pulled massive wealth to the top of the economic pyramid at cost to women, children and the environment. It’s a fundamentally unjust and exploitative system. And the greatest impact in reversing it, and furthering the Sustainable Development Goals, comes though changing our family policies to promote an ecosocial Fair Start in life as the first and overriding human right.
Many young people stand ready to support such a trend of giving and planning, putting people and nature before profits and property, and treating Fair Start redistributions as a peremptory norm overriding governmental processes. It’s about people, starting from the source, limiting and decentralizing power, and thus becoming the relatively self-determining – or free – people we deserve to be.
Urge Pope Francis to admit these truths, at @Pontifex, and pay back the wealth the Vatican took at deadly cost to others.
Here are a few facts:
Climate change is now harming fetal and infant health harm, primarily in vulnerable families of color, as heat increases threaten to kill millions in the future. Roughly three quarters of attempts to mitigate the crisis has been undone by pro-growth policies, policies that exacerbated the one-tenth wealth gap between black and white families. This is happening because a handful of largely wealthy white men chose economic growth as the baseline for policymaking, rather than equity and democracy-building children’s rights that would actually legitimate – through inclusivity – nation-states. They chose to exploit a false sense of autonomy to exchange participatory democracy for economic growth.
Investing in women rather than exploiting and isolating them without equity funding would have significantly mitigated the climate crisis. Changing family outcomes by paying young women delay and readiness entitlements would have worked and saved many lives. Instead these men evaded investing child-rights based family planning, and further birth-privileged their own wealthy progeny while profiting from the unsustainable growth that allowed lack of child-rights allowed.
This divided social justice / public interest movements into less effective silos – like misperceptions of animal rights – that did not threaten the status quo the way birth-equity (equally empowering shares in your democratic system of voting) would have. This in turn undercut democracy, leading to the oligarchic threats the United States faces today.
This now means they – the disenfranchised – will suffer the brunt of a crisis for which they were least responsible, including violations of their right to have even one child in healthy and safe conditions. And because of basic vote dilution, voter suppression, and other factors, they will be unable to use democratic processes to protect themselves, and may rationally choose other measures. And in the face of all of this, many governments driven by industry are paying women to have more children with no easy safeguards like “survive and thrive” baby bonds in place, while wealthy families and foundations reliant on growth fund charities engaged in distractivism.