Catholicism – both a religion and an ambitious, arrogant political institution

By Stephen D. Mumford, DrPH | 7 April 2015
Church and State

(Credit: Riccardo De Luca – Update /

This excerpt has been adapted from our Chairman Dr. Stephen D. Mumford’s book, American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (1984). The book is available at Kindle here and to read for free here.


Whether world population growth is a serious national and global security threat is no longer debatable. It is a reality. It is also true that, if the Roman Catholic Church is not the only important opposition to population growth control, it is, at least, the most significant opposition.

Overpopulation is not just a biological, resource, or management problem. It is above all a political problem that cannot be considered in isolation from struggles for power, particularly by the Roman Catholic Church.

The fundamental issue is that the best interests of the Vatican are not concurrent with those of the United States or any other country. The institution of the Roman Catholic Church is, above all else, a political one; second, economic in nature; and, only third, a religious organization. As Americans we must judge this arrangement for ourselves. We are not obliged to let the Vatican define itself, though we have in the past.

We have allowed the Vatican to establish the rules which govern our relationship with it. The Vatican rules the communicants of the Roman Church and seeks to control and manipulate governments. Americans must recognize that Catholicism is both a religion and an ambitious, arrogant political institution. To continue to accept it as just another religious institution is to fall into the political trap the Vatican has set. We must no longer play by its rules.

The issue of population growth control may be the most obvious example of the serious implications of this arrangement for American democracy. In the collision of the best interests of the Vatican and the best interests of Americans, the Vatican is clearly winning the conflict. The Vatican made the rules and we are blindly following them. As this book shows, American democracy and the very future of Americans are at stake. Patriotic Americans have both a right and an obligation to respond to this totalitarian government in a more appropriate manner. There is a difference between religion and religious tyranny, and the Vatican is using religion to practice tyranny. We must redefine what is acceptable practice for a religious community in the public arena. If we do not, our democracy will take on the characteristics of a Latin American enclave—like El Salvador—in no more than a few decades.

The Church has successfully undertaken this activity in many countries. It is not a new modus operandi for the Vatican. Why should America be treated any differently?

The stage was set for the creation of the population problem more than two centuries ago when Protestant America developed the ethic, “you should never criticize another man’s religion.” Giving up the freedom to evaluate the impact on our democracy of another person’s religion resulted in inhibition regarding criticism of the negative aspects of that religion.

This gave absolute freedom to the Vatican to abuse freedom of religion, in whose name the Church has sought to impose a wall of silence where its actual aims may be in question.

Censorship of the press in this regard is a fact of American life today.

The ecumenical movement was critical to setting the stage for advancement of the Vatican’s agenda. For the Vatican, this movement has been a great success and, for everyone else, a colossal failure. Not only did the Vatican step up its abuse of American freedom with the coming of the ecumenical movement, Protestants were standing by to apologize for the Vatican in the name of religion.

The creation of the abortion issue gave the Vatican the opportunity to politically mobilize in America. The Church’s creation of the Moral Majority, the most extensive political lobbying organization America has witnessed, gave it the opportunity to act with impunity under the guise of American Protestantism.

Eric Severeid, in an award acceptance speech at the National Press Club in March 1984, stated that to keep American freedoms they must be exercised. We did not exercise the freedom of thought to be critical in appraising certain undesirable aspects of the Vatican’s activities, and we are losing the freedom of thought. We are now called upon to accept the religious dogma of the Julian Simons and Herman Kahns as Alexander Haig has done. We did not exercise the freedom of the press to report the negative activities of the Vatican, and it seized on this opportunity to build and impose a far-reaching system of censorship. We have largely lost the freedom of the press regarding the negative activities of the Vatican—but not completely. Herein lies our hope both for successfully dealing with the overpopulation problem and reversing the movement of American democracy toward a Latin-style democracy. However, if we do not exercise the freedom of the press, it is clear from current events that we are going to lose it. For this reason, the solution to the world population problem rests, first of all, in the hands of American journalists, editors, and publishers. Only if they first reestablish complete freedom of the press can the population problem be dealt with and the drift of American democracy toward a Latin one be reversed.

It is a fact that the Vatican is anti-democratic and anti-American. It refuses to accept the principal of the separation of church and state which, in fact, threatens its power. The Vatican’s refusal to accept this principal makes peaceful coexistence with America impossible.

Vatican manipulation of American government is no longer theory. With the election of Mr. Reagan and the arrival of the Reagan team, this became an undeniable reality. However, it has been evident for years that the Vatican has exercised some influence over both of our major political parties. Neither has discussed vital issues in terms that the Vatican would find unacceptable.

The Vatican’s extensive use of secret societies to manipulate American politics is well established. Undertaking secret activities in our democracy as representatives of a foreign power can never be healthy. Their very secrecy suggests that their activities would not be consistent with the open democracy so cherished by patriotic Americans who expect all public issues to be openly debated.

The Vatican is opposed to the freedoms of thought, press, speech, and assembly, which are essential for the survival of American democracy. Because its presence in America is so well established, the Roman Catholic hierarchy is a greater threat to American democracy than communism or any other contemporary political force. Its blatant extensive interference in American efforts to deal with the overpopulation problem, which threatens U.S. security, shows the lengths to which it is willing to go to undermine the American democratic process.

Political realities are not immutable. There are a limited number of Catholic and non-Catholic elected officials who are serving the needs of the Vatican rather than the needs of Americans. They can be voted out of power and the trend reversed. The press must reassert its freedom to expose the Vatican when it behaves in opposition to America’s best interests.

To act otherwise would be irresponsible. Other political systems have suffered through repression of speech, assembly, and the press. Realities can be ignored only for so long, as El Salvador has discovered. Rebellion is inevitably a consequence of this repression, which often takes the form of civil war. We must make every effort to avoid this scenario for a “holy civil war,” as Bill Moyers called it, by reestablishing our freedom of speech and press regarding any church’s activities as they reflect on our society.

The Vatican constantly identifies its ambitions with the supposed wishes of its people. It intends to drag down all American Catholics as it goes down. The number of Catholic lives sacrificed by the Vatican to achieve its political ambitions (in Vietnam, El Salvador, Lebanon, and so forth) is incalculable. Therefore each Catholic American has no choice but to take responsibility for the actions of the leadership since he or she is a source of the power being exercised by the Church. American Catholics have a special responsibility for terminating Vatican influence in America.

All Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic, must beware of acting according to rules laid down by the Vatican. Otherwise American democracy will soon be replaced by Latin democracy and America as we know it will disappear.

If Vatican influence in the American democratic process continues to increase, there is certain to be a growing call for an uprising against the Roman Catholic Church in America and its allies, such as the Protestants who belong to the Moral Majority. The threat to U.S. security posed by overpopulation, particularly the threat of massive illegal immigration into our country, the control of which the Vatican now thwarts, will not allow for this confrontation to be postponed for long. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese Catholics lost their lives in a vain attempt by the Vatican to maintain control. Under the present course, American Catholics and non-Catholics are faced with this prospect.

In the long run, non-Catholics who oppose outright confrontation with the Vatican on the serious threat to our national security posed by overpopulation, are doing a great disservice to the entire American community.

Vatican involvement in American policy-making should be of great concern to true conservatives in this country, especially regarding the absence of preparations by the Department of Defense for the consequences of overpopulation relative to national security. Leadership must be forthcoming. The “New Right” approximates a Vatican political party. The “New Right” can best be described as radically religious. Members are radicals, the antithesis of true American conservatives, and they should be thought of as such.

Above all else, people who feel that they must impose the Vatican agenda should not be serving in any capacity in public or in private life in our country. We have a Constitution that we expect people to live by both in spirit and letter. This Constitution must not be changed to fulfill the needs of the Vatican. Americans have every right to demand that all citizens be loyal to our government rather than the Vatican government. The national and global security threat of world overpopulation cannot be addressed in any significant ways until this confrontation with the Vatican is undertaken and successfully completed. People who state that there can be population growth control in the absence of this confrontation with the Vatican are impractical or charlatans.

The threat to U.S. and global security posed by overpopulation can be successfully addressed and the threat to American democracy posed by the Vatican can be eliminated by reestablishing the freedom of the press regarding the activities of the Vatican in America. This can be done. The fact that The Humanist and Church and State magazines continue to be published and that articles such as the one cited in Science appear clearly show that we have not reached the point of no return.

The challenge rests with the American press. However, it must have the support of all patriotic Americans, of all religious persuasions.

The great success in China shows that the population problem is solvable and the solution affordable. Underdeveloped countries can repeat this success elsewhere if given the chance. We must make that chance possible.

Dr. Stephen Mumford is the founder and President of the North Carolina-based Center for Research on Population and Security. He has his doctorate in Public Health. His principal research interest has been the relationship between world population growth and national and global security. He has been called to provide expert testimony before the U.S. Congress on the implications of world population growth.

Dr. Mumford has decades of international experience in fertility research where he is widely published, and has addressed conferences worldwide on new contraceptive technologies and the stresses to the security of families, societies and nations that are created by continued uncontrolled population growth. Using church policy documents and writings of the Vatican elite, he has introduced research showing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church as the principal power behind efforts to block the availability of contraceptive services worldwide.

In addition to his books on biomedical and social aspects of family planning, as well as scientific articles in more than a score of journals, Dr. Mumford’s major works include American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (Amherst, New York: Humanist Press, 1984), The Pope and the New Apocalypse: The Holy War Against Family Planning (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1986), and The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1996).

During the formative years of the World Health Organization (WHO), broad consensus existed among United Nations member countries that overpopulation is a grave public health threat and would be a major cause of preventable death not too far in the future. One of the founding fathers of the WHO, the late Milton P. Siegel, speaks to Dr. Mumford in 1992. He explains how the Vatican successfully stymied the incorporation of family planning and birth control into official WHO policy. This video is available for public viewing for the first time. Read the full transcript of the interview here.

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  1. "We have allowed the Vatican to establish the rules which govern our relationship with it."

    Although the writer appears to be American, this is a UK site. Henry VIII, By the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith, Lord of Ireland, and of the Church of England and of Ireland in Earth Supreme Head, managed to change that somewhat in England…


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