An Oriental Syro-Malabar bishop in Kerala has urged Catholics to stop using birth control and have more children as studies show that the Christian population is declining in the southern Indian state.
Bishop Mathew Anikkuzhikkattil of Idukki made the appeal in a letter published in the December issue of the diocesan paper.
"Those who say no one needs to be born and live after they become part of the population are selfish and arrogant. A miserable life awaits them. Men and women should engage in creation as long as their reproduction capacity lasts," the bishop said in the article.
The bishop also said that inter-faith marriages and the tendency among young people to delay marriage to ensure they have an education and career are additional factors behind the decline.
In response, many parishes have come up with incentives to encourage people to procreate such as free education and free medical care for children starting from the fifth child onwards. Some parishes are even offering financial assistance to large families.