From Fr. Lombardi: Dear Baby number seven billion….

Dear baby number seven billion! I don’t know if you are a girl or a boy, whether you are Indian or Chinese, born in a great city or a tiny village. I don’t know if you were born in the fertile South American lowlands or under an igloo above the arctic circle.

I don’t know if you were born on a remote island, or in a refugee tent. I don’t know whether you are healthy or sick or handicapped. I don’t know whether both your parents were there to embrace you at your birth, or whether your mother alone was there to hold you. I don’t know whether people will say there are too many or too few of you and your contemporaries. Today, I don’t care about that.

This world you are coming into is a bit complicated and it’s not friendly for everyone. We haven’t done a very good job preparing it for you. The leaders of the richest and most powerful nations are sitting around a table, struggling to find a way forward. We too are asking ourselves about your future.

But today I want to tell you that you are unique and special, that you are a wonderful gift, that you are a miracle, that your spirit will live for ever, and so you are welcome. We hope that when you smile someone will respond to your smile, and when you cry someone will caress you. We hope you can go to school and that you won’t go hungry. We hope that someone will answer your questions wisely and encourage you as you find your place in the world. We hope you will be able to love others, that will be able to grow, and work, and live among your family, with many friends, in a nation and in a world that is free and at peace. We pray that you can understand that your life will find its fullest meaning not in this world but in the next.

Because this is what you were born for. Your Creator and Father made you for this. We will do our part to make this possible; but you will have to do your part, too, because your future will also depend on you and the choices you make—and it will be up to you to welcome baby eight billion.

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
This entry was posted in World Affairs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to From Fr. Lombardi: Dear Baby number seven billion….

  1. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Baby 7 billion could of course be born in the the US or Europe – come on, Fr. L!

    It is clear that Fr. Lombardi means well, though he is not an economist, an ecologist or any of the ‘-ologies’ which deal with sustenance and sustainability. He says to this representative child, “we hope that you will go to school and that you will not go hungry”. Hope does not fill the bowl of course, and millions right now have no school nor food.

    I fear for his ‘baby 8 billion’.

    Like

  2. Gertrude says:

    Whippy: It is indeed to be hoped, and prayed for that this child will indeed grow up to benefit by the things that Fr. Lombardi hopes for him/her.
    I have to agree though that the plight of the many millions of babies being born, as I write,is not to have even the most basic of human needs met – clean water and enough food on which to live. Secondary things, such as education, a loving family, and a peaceful nation are, sadly, not the happy lot of so many.

    Like

  3. Whippy………

    Since you don’t agree with what Fr. Lombardi, then what do you think he should have said ???

    Also, please enlighten me as to why you said……….”Baby 7 billion could of course be born in the the US or Europe – come on, Fr. L! “……….I really don’t understand why you said that.

    Like

  4. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    I thought it was clear Louise, – Fr L should have said nothing if he knows nothing of sustainabilty of resources and provision of sustenance for people. Already now, millions starve and also die, yet he recklessly calls for another billion to increase that starvation. He ‘hopes’ that child 7th and 8th billionth will be fed; hope is not good enough, I’m sure you agree, or then we call it cruelty. He promises these children, placed on earth by God, that their lives will not have their fullest meaning here but only in heaven; this sounds like a funeral address. Only someone like Fr L could dream of saying that to a starving child, and that’s who he is addressing. His well fed countenance allows such comment. By chance he’s one of the lucky ones, as you and I are.

    He falls into the comfortable, thoughtless illusion that population increase happens somewhere else – but it happens everywhere, not only ‘in refugee tents’ or ‘igloos’. In the US 50million live in poverty and hunger, though not chronic starvation. I expect the EU figures are similar, but not as severe, for the moment.

    But you knew that..

    Like

  5. kathleen says:

    I don’t pretend to be an expert in demography, but there are studies that estimate the world could comfortably feed, house and give a decent standard of living to as many as 30 billion people!! With new technology in methods of farming, fishing etc., and recycling waste, they set out theories of how life on planet Earth in the not-so-distant future will have to face the prospect of its growing population to limits yet unknown.

    “The poor will always be with you” Jesus told us, and that is why we must share what we have and seek ways to help others less fortunate than ourselves. Catholic charities do more to help the poor and marginalised than any other governmental or non-governmental organisation.

    True, many people today barely have enough to eat, living in the most abject poverty. Much must still be done to improve living conditions for a large percentage of our brothers and sisters…… but their misery and poverty is not caused by a lack of food and water! Hard environmental conditions, unfair distribution of wealth and food, unemployment, greed, wars, displacements, and so on and so on, always have resulted in misery and poverty for far too many. And whilst we squander much of our bounty in the West and other prosperous places, many go wanting. Much must still be done to find remedies to overcome these problems and find solutions.

    Baby number 7 billion, with his/her immortal soul, should indeed be welcomed. Who knows if this little person might not be one of the ones to work towards alleviating suffering and poverty for those still unborn.

    Like

  6. toadspittle says:

    .
    “Much must still be done to improve living conditions for a large percentage of our brothers and sisters…… but their misery and poverty is not caused by a lack of food and water!”

    Well, Kathleen, the misery and poverty of our brothers and sisters may not be caused by a lack of food and water, but they certainly lack both, and are poor and miserable as a result.
    Except when they are actually already dead, of course.
    What does, in fact, cause their misery and poverty? Not having enough children? Sin?

    “The poor will always be with you,” Jesus told us, Kathleen tells us.
    Toad has often wondered how many heartless people have used that as an excuse to either do nothing, (it’s pointless) or to exploit poor people (we might as well) ?

    Like

  7. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Kathleen,

    I know you mean well.
    But I’m sorry to say that your post above is not your best.

    Like

  8. toadspittle says:

    .

    Toad thinks that what Kathleen is trying to tell us is, “Everything in the world would be fine, if everything in the world was fine.” A deep and profound observation.

    And, anyway, if it’s not fine, it’s not the Catholics’ fault.
    Indeed.

    Like

  9. kathleen says:

    I know you mean well.
    But I’m sorry to say that your post above is not your best.”

    Yes Mr. Whippy, in rereading my post I see I was perhaps explaining myself badly.

    By quoting Our Blessed Lord’s words about the poor, I was stressing how this is an issue to be addressed at all times and in all ages. It is certainly not an excuse to “tirar la toalla” ,as the Spanish say (meaning to give up) because the situation is seen as hopeless, but it should challenge us to try harder to combat poverty wherever it is found. This is not just a choice, but the obligation and responsibility of all Christians in “loving our neighbour as ourself”.

    Toad, I stressed the word ‘lack‘ meaning that there is food and water aplenty in the world. It is the access to them that is the problem.

    Like

  10. toadspittle says:

    .
    “Toad, I stressed the word ‘lack’ meaning that there is food and water aplenty in the world. It is the access to them that is the problem.”

    The fact that there is water to spare, in say, Antartica, is of scant comfort to someone in Ethopia.
    It might just as well not be there. And this is not a new thing.

    Like

  11. kathleen says:

    The fact that there is water to spare, in say, Antartica, is of scant comfort to someone in Ethopia.”

    Sorry Toad, but that’s a stupid thing to say. Why don’t the big boys in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait go thirsty then? Ever heard of modern technology, with methods of retaining fresh water and even desalinate sea water? They are rich enough to do both.

    Fighting ignorance and poverty is the key issue here. Even inhospitable places like the desert can then flourish. It wasn’t so long ago that many starved to death in Europe (e.g. remember the potato famine in Ireland?) but we have come a long way since then.

    I don’t believe our increase in population to seven billion – and growing – is the reason there is poverty in the world. If that were so, then why was there so much poverty, and why did so many starve to death when there were less than one billion people in the world?

    Like

  12. toadspittle says:

    .
    “Sorry Toad, but that’s a stupid thing to say. Why don’t the big boys in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait go thirsty then? Ever heard of modern technology, with methods of retaining fresh water and even desalinate sea water?”

    Yes, Kathleen, Toad knows that if it was financially worth “the big boys” while to alieviate the suffering of others they would quickly do so. But it isn’t, so they don’t. The “big boys” don’t go thirsty because they don’t have to and they don’t want to.
    They just build 100 storey hotels and buy 20 million dollar racehorses.

    We are in agreement ot some extent – Toad agrees that much could be done. But it won’t. And the poor will go on dying. Like Jesus said.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s