Catholic teaching challenges award for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s two-child limit

Katie Yoder   By Katie Yoder for CNA

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle / EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2021 / 19:01 pm (CNA).

An environmental charity recently awarded Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for limiting their family to two children.

In honor of World Population Day, British charity Population Matters presented the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with a “special award” for “choosing and publicly declaring their intention to limit their family to two.”

Among other things, the charity congratulated them for “helping to ensure a better future for their children, and providing a role model for other families.” The group called their family size limit an “enlightened decision,” and said the couple’s environmentally-friendly example showed that a “smaller family is also a happy family.”

The award came after Prince Harry revealed that he wanted two children “maximum!” in a 2019 British Vogue interview.

“I’ve always thought: This place is borrowed,” he said. “And, surely, being as intelligent as we all are, or as evolved as we all are supposed to be, we should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation.”

The royal couple have already reached their self-imposed limit with their two-year-old son Archie and one-month-old Lilabet Diana.

Catholic leaders challenge this idea, as EWTN Pro-Life Weekly reported on July 17. Pope St. John Paul II once stressed that an appreciation of the human person is necessary for interest in others – and the earth.

Catholic leaders suggest that welcoming children and embracing family contributes to the prosperity of the environment.

“If an appreciation of the value of a human person and of human life is lacking, we will also lose interest in others and in the earth itself,” Pope St. John Paul II taught in his 1990 message celebrating the World Day of Peace.

Adding to the late pontiff’s words, EWTN Pro-Life Weekly host Catherine Hadro said, “the answer is to care for both the environment and human life.”

“We are called to respect the earth our creator made,” she explained. “But we must also respect the human life our creator makes.”

Hadro also said that she would not be alive today if her grandmother had not been open to life. Her mother, she said, was the youngest of 13 children. She said she is also married today because her mother-in-law welcomed 10 children, the youngest of whom is her husband.

“No, not every couple is called to have or will be blessed with a large family,” she said. “But to shut off God’s plan for your family is to shut up the creator Himself.”

Instead of posing a threat to the world and closing doors, children infuse the world with beauty, she said.

“The more people there are, the more love there is and the more opportunities there are for this beautiful planet of ours,” she concluded.

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  1. Barf…these two have disgraced the Royal family too many times to count. But not surprising coming from Harry, who after all, was raised with the perspective of being merely “the spare.”

    Humans are our greatest renewable resource.

  2. We read that “Pope St. John Paul II once stressed that an appreciation of the human person is necessary for interest in others—and the earth,” and that “children infuse the world with beauty.”

    A couple of points to ponder, all to suggest that framing these issues with wisdom and creativity would be not so far out of reach if Catholic academia had not indulged in its adolescent outburst of decapitated autonomy—the Land O’ Lakes Declaration. (But what else could these schools do, given the siren call of federal grants, and given their compromised middleman role between the banking industry and new generations of indentured servants under inflated student loans?)

    Points to ponder:

    FIRST, Humanae Vitae (1968) defends the right and obligation of parents, upon honest reflection, to figure out the number of children, more or less. The primacy of the family, rather than dictates from the Administrative State or its self-selected figureheads.
    SECOND, in addition to the above quote, Pope St. John Paul II was also more nuanced in framing the challenges of the 21st Century. He called for (a) “important changes in established lifestyles, in order to limit the waste of environmental and human resources, thus enabling every individual and all the peoples of the earth to have a sufficient share of those resources” (Centesimus Annus, 1991, n. 54); but also, (b) “wealth” as “the possession of know-how, technology and skill,” and “[i]t is precisely the ability to foresee both the needs of others and the combinations of productive factors most adapted to satisfying those needs that constitutes another important source of wealth in modern society” (CA, n. 32).
    THIRD, Pope St. John XXIII, “But whatever be the situation, we clearly affirm these problems should be posed and resolved in such a way that man does not have recourse to methods and means contrary to his dignity . . .” (Mater et Magistra, 1961, n. 191).
    FOURTH, this brings us to the contraceptive cult versus The Theology of the Body, and to both “children who infuse the world with beauty,” and the personalized parental beauty of Natural Family Planning. All this in a world where the centrality of personal dignity and the family now are inundated by the consumer culture of abortion, euthanasia, redefined “marriage,” bread, circuses, ecological exploitation, exploitive/recreational sex, and denatured gender theory.
    FIFTH, the numbers crunching is not simple-minded (Harry and Meghan—in all settings: 1 + 1 = 2!), especially now that the collapsing Western world is clocking-in at below the population replacement level.

    Again, what might Catholic academia have contributed about solidarity and subsidiarity, both always together, and about incommensurate goods, if half a century ago it had not jumped in the lake?

  3. Prince William and his wife, Kate, have three children. To my knowledge, they haven’t instructed others to follow suit.

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