Cardinal’s Call for Debt Forgiveness
* Cardinal Roger Mahony’s plea for the cancellation of debts owed by Central American countries ravaged by Hurricane Mitch is an act of extreme bravery (Commentary, Dec. 25). These multimillion-dollar debts, owed the United States by Honduras, et al., are essentially tax dollars, collected from American citizens.
The poor people of Central America didn’t have much before Mitch and will have little more long after Mitch is forgotten. What natural disasters don’t take from them, they take from themselves, expanding their populations well beyond the limits of their resources.
Mahony, who represents an entity that pays no taxes and applauds and encourages overpopulation, is audacious, indeed, to demand that our tax dollars be given away.
If Mahony and the archdiocese of Los Angeles really wanted to aid the people of Central America, they would immediately begin an aggressive program of population control. The religious encouragement of large families only leads to an exploding population that overwhelms the landscape and its resources.
To be sure, Central American countries have been hit with hurricanes and some flooding for centuries. But the scope of the destruction by Hurricane Mitch was greatly magnified by the deforestation of areas that should have been left under the protective cover of forest vegetation.
Certainly these people need immediate aid, but true long-range economic and social stability will only come about with a smaller population in a sustainable balance with their environment.