LONDON (Daily Telegraph Mail)—Researchers in the UK’s leading correspondence college hailed a Filipino bishop’s unique economic strategy as “breathtaking,” declaring it the next big thing for developing countries.
Dr. Kenneth Figger, director of research and innovation at Ayts-Goodnough School of Economics, praised Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet in Camarines Sur, Philippines, for advancing the proposition that a runaway birth rate has been advantageous, not detrimental, to the Southeast Asian archipelago’s economy.
Figger is the renowned lead economist at Ayts-Goodnough, which is widely advertised on matchbook covers.
The bishop earlier told the Manila newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer that overpopulation has been good for the Philippines, contrary to the claim of that country’s new reproductive health law, which promotes family planning and the distribution of contraceptives.
Overpopulation, Garcera, said, “has increased the number of overseas workers who send remittances back home, [who] take care of aging people abroad, and spread Christianity.” Garcera said overpopulation was part of “God’s plan for Filipinos to take care of others,” while artificial contraception was “against human nature.”
“Let’s look at the increase in our population in a more comprehensive sense,” Garcera advised incredulous reporters whose mouths fell wide open at the audacity of his thesis.
But Figger called Garcera’s observation “beautiful in its simple-mindedness, I mean, simplicity,” like an intriguing mathematical theorem. “It is so breathtakingly counterintuitive I don’t know why we didn’t think of it before,” Figger added, slapping his forehead.
Nobel Prize contender?
Promoting sex solely for reproduction will most definitely replace export-oriented industrialization as “the engine of new tiger economies,” Figger gushed. Economists, he explained, are well aware of the global shortage of wheelchair pushers and bedpan handlers, and more babies as future overseas labor would fill that gap.
Figger also said he wouldn’t be surprised if Bishop Garcera were nominated for the Nobel Prize in economics.
Among the benefits of overpopulation Garcera noted: “Many Filipino women would make good wives for foreigners in countries like Germany or the United States that have low population growth.”
Figger concurred: “Biotechnology, computer science and car manufacturing are so day before yesterday. Going forth and multiplying is the safe and satisfying path to economic growth.” He added that he was going to the Philippine Consulate in London right away to get a visa. “It’s more fun.”
Not everyone, however, expressed enthusiasm for Bishop Garcera’s economic formulation.
Alarmed by his statement as well as those of other Church leaders during the Philippines’ reproductive health bill debate, the Vatican’s Commisio Theologica Internationalis (International Theological Commission) conducted a quick intelligence audit of the Holy See’s pastoral office of bishops and found “much to be desired.”
The explosive secret audit found that “some Catholic bishops today are embarrassingly misguided” to the chagrin of the 30-member commission, a reliable source told the daily L’Osservatore Romano.
The audit apparently singled out heads of some Philippine dioceses as being in need of theological refresher courses, especially on such “texts of Catholic social teaching as Rerum Novarum, Mater et Magistra and Pacem in Terris.”
Not all bishops remiss
A commission spokespriest emphatically clarified that not all bishops are a few cinctures short of an alb.
“But francamente speaking, some are not worthy of their miters, and it makes you wonder how they got to their positions,” lamented Fr. Galileo Astuto, a sub-editor at Theology Today, which will publish the report in a coming issue.
Given that bishops, according the Pope, “have been appointed by the Holy Spirit and are successors of the Apostles as pastors of the soul,” they must exhibit the sharpest intelligence and the wisest judgment, Astuto explained.
However, the internal audit revealed that some bishops today are more ignorant than many of their counterparts in the Middle Ages. “And in those were the ones who believed the universe revolved around Earth!” tsked, tsked Astuto.
He announced that erring bishops have been asked to fly to the Vatican to attend makeup courses in theology and logic. He added that those summoned from the Philippines have refused to travel by ship across the world because they’re afraid it might fall off the edge.