Saturday, January 28, 2012

Factors for a vocation to celibacy

By Kevin in Undivided Heart, vocationblog.com entitled 2010 Profession Class, By the Numbers

What do we know about the women religious in the United States who made their final vows this past year? [2010]

Plenty!

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) released a report last week on the women who professed perpetual vows in 2010. This report, commissioned by the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), contains an overwhelming amount of statistics and demographic data.

Here, I will provide a “top ten” list of findings that I found most significant:

(1) 77% of the sisters have three or more siblings (the average was five), while only one sister reported being an only child.

Need I say any more about the critically important role of large Catholic families as fertile ground for religious vocations? The generosity of Catholic parents who are open to life speaks volumes to their children.

(2) Prayer matters.

74% had attended a retreat prior to entering the community, and two-thirds of them prayed the Rosary and participated in Eucharistic adoration on a regular basis before entering religious life. While this is a positive stat, I hope that the other one-third picked up these religious practices after they joined!

(3) 52% reported that they were encouraged by other religious to consider religious life.

And nine out of ten reported that they were encouraged by someone in their life. This stat shows the importance of inviting others to “come and see,” and of supporting them in their discernment process. This is especially important in light of the next item.

(4) 66% reported that they were discouraged from considering a vocation by one or more persons.

Even more, 51% reported that they faced opposition within their own families! It makes one wonder how we can make families a more hospitable seedbed for vocations. Certainly a renewal of faith and sense of vocation among Catholic parents is crucial if we are to reverse this trend.

Read the rest here: http://vocationblog.com/2011/02/2010-profession-class-by-the-numbers/

Thursday, January 26, 2012

International expert praises Filipino wisdom in halting AIDS

Jason Evert, an international expert on sexuality and family, who was in Manila a year ago, heaped praises on the "wisdom of the Filipino approach to halting AIDS" and said that they are "living proof that self-control always trumps birth control," in his book If You Really Loved Me. He offers prestigious empirical research to prove his point.


If people abstained from sex at least six months between partners, the odds of HIV transmission would be deci­mated. Therefore, countries that encourage monogamy and self-control enjoy much greater success in preventing HIV than coun­tries that simply hand out condoms.

A key example of this is in the Philippines, where condoms are rare, and so is HIV. A New York Times article entitled "Low Rate of AIDS Virus in Philippines Is a Puzzle" reported that the Church in the Philippines is "conservative and politically power­ful." As a result, "the government has no AIDS-awareness pro­gram of its own and restricts the public campaigns of independent family-planning groups."289

But, the article reported, "public health officials say they are stumped by a paradox in the Philippines, where a very low rate of condom use [4 percent] and a very low rate of HIV infection seem to be going hand in hand." In this conservative Catholic coun­try that shuns condoms, about twelve thousand of the eighty-four million residents are infected with HIV. Jean-Marc Olive of the World Health Organization said that he's not sure why this is, but he thinks they're "lucky." One gets the impression that "experts" would rather look puzzled than be forced to give credit to a chaste culture.

To appreciate the wisdom of the Filipino approach to halt­ing the spread of HIV, contrast their efforts with the "safe sex" program implemented in Thailand. Both countries reported their first case of HIV in 1984. By 1987 there were 135 cases in the Philippines, and 112 in Thailand. The World Health Organization predicted that by 1999, 85,000 people would die of AIDS in the Philippines, and 70,000 in Thailand. In an effort to prevent this tragedy, Thailand enacted a "one hundred percent condom use program" and promoted widespread availability of condoms.290 Meanwhile, the Filipino government backed the Church's plan to prevent the epidemic.By 2005, Thailand's HIV rate was fifty times as high as the Philippines (580,000 vs. 12,000).291

But because Thailand's rate of new HIV infections is not as high as it used to be, it is hailed by "safe sex" experts as the model of how to protect a country against HIV. Health officials warn that an HIV epidemic has "the potential to explode" in the Philippines, but they are slow to acknowledge that if Filipinos hold fast to their morals, they'll have nothing to fear.292 Com­pared to Western culture, Filipinos have a delayed sexual debut and a reduced number of partners.293 They are living proof that self-control always trumps birth control.

While some people see the Catholic Church as an obstacle to HIV prevention, the British Medical Journal noted, "The greater the percentage of Catholics in any country, the lower the level of HIV. If the Catholic Church is promoting a message about HIV in those countries, it seems to be working. On the basis of data from the World Health Organization, in Swaziland, where 42.6 percent have HIV, only 5 percent of the population is Catholic. In Botswana, where 37 percent of the adult population is HIV infected, only 4 percent of the population is Catholic. In South Africa, 22 percent of the population is HIV infected, and only 6 percent is Catholic. In Uganda, with 43 percent of the population Catholic, the proportion of HIV infected adults is 4 percent."294 In the Philippines, over 80 percent of the population is Catholic, and only .03 percent of the population has HIV!295

References:

289 Seth Mydans, "Low Rate Of AIDS Virus In Philippines Is a Puzzle," The New York Times (April 20, 2003).

290 Human Life International, "Condom Expose" www.hli.org, 16.

291UNAIDS "Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic," 2006, Annex 2

292 Mydans.

293 Cecile Balgos, "Philippines Proud of its Low Infection Rate, Number of Cases," San Francisco Chronicle (May 21, 2003).

294 Amin Abboud, "Searching for Papal Scapegoats Is Pointless," British Medical Journal 331 (July 30, 2005), 294.

295 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, "International Reli­gious Freedom Report 2004," U.S. Department of State (September 15, 2004); UNAIDS "Philippines" Country Situation Analysis (www.unaids.org).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Economic benefits of a large growing population: what experts say


By Dr. Raul Nidoy

HSBC, the world's second-largest banking and financial services group and second-largest public company, predicted that the Philippines will be the 16th biggest economy by 2050, surpassing Australia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. It means the Philippines will leapfrog 27 ranks!

The explanation of HSBC, among others, is the Philippines' large growing population.

Why? In a nutshell, the experts say a large population means:

>a greater domestic market
>attracting investors and multinational companies
>stimulating investment in knowledge
>generating more new ideas which improve productivity
>market size stimulates innovative activity
>increasing learning-by-doing due to pressures of increased production volume
>more workers
>more young people energizing the economy
>increased consumption driving manufacturing and services
>increased national savings
>a big home market that is an attractive prize for successful new products
>greater economies of scale (less cost in production per unit with increase of volume)
>an absolutely larger number of outstanding, highly effective people


Gary Becker, Nobel Prize Winner:

In modern knowledge-based economies, on balance population growth helps rather than hurts income growth and general welfare.

Larger populations stimulate greater investments in knowledge that tend to raise per capita welfare.

RAND Corporation (associated with 30 Nobel Prize Winners)


Most economic analysis has examined the statistical correlation between population and economic growth and found little significant connection. Though countries with rapidly growing populations tend to have more slowly growing economies, this negative correlation typically disappears (or even reverses direction) once other factors such as country size, openness to trade,educational attainment of the population, and the quality of civil and political institutions are taken into account.

Michael Spence, Nobel Prize Winner:

One factor that relates to size is important. Large countries, even in the early stages, have a potential advantage in that if they are serious about growth, their domestic economies are prospectively large and of great interest to multinational corporations. This will attract the multinationals' attention, and cause them to make the up front investment in learning to operate in a new environment with a view to both the expandability of exports and, in the longer term, supplying the large domestic market.

Small countries do not offer these inducements. That makes it more difficult to get the attention of the multinationals and hence harder to open this important channel for knowledge transfer. (From his 2011 book: The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World. 1st Edition. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, pages 124-125.)

Bernardo Villegas, Doctor of Economics, Harvard University in Benefits of Large and Young Population:

Lessons are being learned from the ongoing global economic crisis. One of them is that a large and young population can partly insulate a country from the ill effects of a global recession. It should not come as a surprise that in Southeast Asia, there are three countries that are still posting positive growth rates in Gross Domestic Product, i.e. Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines (VIP). …

The VIP countries, like the so-called tiger economies such as Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea, are also experiencing precipitous drops in their exports (declines of 30 percent or more). Their economies are still growing, however, because their businesses can still sell to their respective domestic markets. Indonesia, for example, has close to 250 million consumers. … Vietnam and the Philippines have each close to 90 million consumers. Their GDP is being fueled by private consumption, thanks to large and young populations.

The VIP countries also share a common feature: their populations are relatively young. Close to 70 percent of their populations are less than thirty years old. Those who are over 65 are less than 5 percent (in contrast with Japan, where those who are over 65 are nearing 20 percent of the entire population). Young populations tend to consume more. They also are magnets for foreign investors from the developed countries that are looking for lower labor costs. ..

Among the so-called emerging markets that are led by the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, those that have the best of both worlds are those with large and young populations and are endowed with rich natural resources…

Julian Simon, Senior Fellow at Cato Institute and Professor of Business at University of Maryland, Is Population Growth A Drag to Economic Development?

In the very long run more people have a positive net effect. This is because the most important positive effects of additional people -- improvement of productivity through both the contribution of new ideas, and also the learning-by-doing consequent upon increased production volume -- happen in the long run, and are cumulative...

It may at first seem preposterous that greater population density might lead to better economic results. This is the equivalent of saying that if all Americans moved east of the Mississippi, we might not be the poorer for it. Upon reflection, this proposition is not as unlikely as it sounds....

Such a change would bring about major benefits in shortening transportation and communication distances, a factor which has been important in Japan's ability to closely coordinate its industrial operations in such a fashion as to reduce costs of inventory and transportation.

Additionally, greater population concentration forces social changes in the direction of a greater degree of organization, changes which may be costly in the short run but in the long run increase a society's ability to reach its economic and social objectives. If we were still living at the population density of, say, ten thousand years ago, we would have none of the vital complex social and economic apparatuses that are the backbone of our society.


Prof. Casey Mulligan, University of Chicago in the New York Times


The more people on earth, the greater the chance that one of them has an idea of how to improve alternative energies, or to mitigate the climate effects of carbon emissions. It takes only one person to have an idea that can benefit many.

Plus, the more people on earth, the larger are the markets for new innovations.

Thus, even if the brilliant innovators would be born regardless of population control, their incentives to devote effort toward finding new discoveries and bringing them to the marketplace depend on the size of that marketplace.

And it’s clear that incentives matter for innovative activity: That’s why we have a patent system that helps innovators obtain financial rewards for their inventions.

Not surprisingly, research has shown that market size stimulates innovative activity, as in the case of pharmaceutical research that is especially intense for conditions that have more victims.

Dr. Roberto de Vera and Dr. Victor Abola, University of Asia and the Pacific


Roberto de Vera: It is true that economic development is not only a matter of quantity nor a matter only of having warm bodies. However, a country has to have warm bodies to begin with.

De Vera opines that the problem of poverty, although a heavy burden, is easier to solve than the problem of not having enough people. He says controlling population growth poses the serious threat of population aging and dwindling number of human resources, which many advanced economies now face.

He says the projection that some more developed economies like Singapore will be overtaken by the Philippines by 2050 hinges on the fact that the former are now facing serious problems of population aging.

De Vera also disagrees with the notion that there are not enough resources to educate all school-aged children in the country. He says government resources, if efficiently monitored and allocated, should be able to accommodate the education needs of Filipino children belonging to households that cannot financially afford sending kids to school.Ongoing efforts of the government to improve governance and rising contributions from the private sector as far as investments are concerned should bear positive results over the long term.

Dr. Victor A. Abola: A large population is an advantage rather than a drag on economic growth based on two fronts—advancement of knowledge and economies of scale.

Advances in knowledge are faster in a large population because intelligence and genius is not confined to the rich. It is normally distributed, and, therefore, with a larger population you would have an absolutely larger number of outstanding people who do make a difference.

Economies of scale (which happens when cost of per-unit production declines as volume increases) can be more easily achieved with a large population. Countries with smaller population have to rely on the export markets just to achieve economies of scale, he explains.

Previous studies have concluded that 58 percent of economic growth can be traced to advancement in knowledge, while 17 percent is anchored on economies of scale.

Abola says existing resources of the Philippines, including human capital, will help the country become progressive decades from now.

The Economist by Buttonwood

Basically, economic growth comes from having more workers, making them more productive or a combination of the two. If a country has fewer workers, productivity has to do all the work, and even then real growth is likely to be slow.

The following nations are all set to see declines of more than 10%; Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Poland, South Korea, Russia, Japan and Germany. In the last two cases, the decline is set to be a remarkable 20%.

The US is likely to show a rise of almost 10%; Britain a more modest increase. The top five growers are the Philippines, Egypt, Malaysia, Israel and india. Of course, very-rapidly growing population can be a problem, especially if you can't find jobs for young men. But it is better to be in the top half of the table - like Australia, New Zealand and Ireland - than the bottom.

These figures are quite remarkable - not since the Black Death can there have been such a fall in workers - and the implications must surely be very profound. One reason it will be so hard for Europe to grow its way out of the debt crisis is the impact of demography.

Marie Powell

Many economists contend that larger numbers of young people energize an economy by growing the productive labor pool, driving manufacturing and services through consumption and increasing the national savings rate.

Young people have incentives to save for purposes like home purchases, college tuition for children and retirement plans.


Businessweek


Is it coincidence that the most innovative major industrialized country, the U.S., also has the fastest growing population and the most young people? No coincidence at all, as it turns out.

Surprisingly, a nation with a large population may have an advantage when it comes to innovation and the adoption of new technologies.

Why is that? For one thing, innovation is risky. Most new products and new technologies fail. But a big home market offers a very attractive prize for success: Lots and lots of potential customers. And that tends to encourage innovation.

Bert Hofman, World Bank Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific
Aging is one of the "most important megatrends" in East Asia and the Pacific and the Philippines stands to benefit from it.

Hofman said the country’s young and well-educated work force would be able to attract more businesses to set up shop in the Philippines. This includes more business-process outsourcing (BPO) firms and even manufacturing firms in China that will decide to move to the Philippines, where wages are relatively low and the work force is young.“This is truly one of the most important megatrends in the region. And for the Philippines, it’s an opportunity. If the Philippines creates the business environment that would create jobs, they’re going to be a big winner of this trend because a lot of the rest of the region are actually aging quite rapidly,” Hofman said.

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Breaking News! The one-page leaflets  on this blog are going viral around the world. One leaflet was posted in the website of the Archdiocese of Westminster in London ("The Mother Church of England"), in the Corpus Christi Parish in Canada,  in Kenya and in Macau. To get the full collection, please see this: One Page Leaflets for New Evangelization Going Viral!

A related article which tackles population control and poverty, and the role of contraceptives is Science Facts on Contraceptives


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Does the RH Bill defy God?

Excerpts and summary of statement signed by Rolando Dizon (Good Citizenship Movement), Edgardo Tirona (Sangguniang Laiko), and Tony Roxas (Kanlungan ng Buhay).

The RH Bill violates these Commandments of the God of the Christians, Jews and Moslems:

Fifth Commandment, Thou shalt not kill, because RH promotes abortifacients.

Fourth Commandment, Honor thy father and mother, because everyone, including kids, will have "the right to safe, satisfying sex" and it will be illegal for parents to stop them.

Sixth Commandment, Thou shalt not commit adultery, because through the condom culture, RH promotes extramarital sex and premarital sex.

First Commandment
, Thou shalt not have other gods before me, because RH chooses the State over God, as ultimate moral authority.


A State that implores the help of Almighty God in the preamble of its own Constitution for its survival and well-being does not have any moral right to pass laws that overrule God's laws clearly expressed in His Ten Commandments and implied in the natural moral law written in the hearts of men.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Homosexuality: Causes and Therapy (some internet resources)

A collection of select resources on the causes and the therapy of homosexual tendencies. 

One-page summary of the causes and the therapy:   Key Facts about Homosexuality.

Causes

1. People Can Change, Root Causes, a survey of 205 with homosexual feelings: http://www.peoplecanchange.com/change/causes.php

2. Homosexuality 101, Video by Dr. Julie Harren-Hamilton: http://www.homosexuality101.com/

3. Battle for Normality by Gerard van den Aardweg (one of the best and most effective books on homosexuality) - http://thetruthsetsyoufree.wordpress.com/homosexuality-an-overview/

4. Homosexuality and Hope, Q&A on causes and healing: http://www.maritalhealing.com/HSaH.pdf

original research: http://catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/ho0039.html/

5. Family Research Council, What Causes Homosexuality: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF08L41.pdf

Homosexuality: Causes and Cures, by Mark Latkovic: http://www.aodonline.org/aodonline-sqlimages/SHMS/Faculty/LatkovicMark/UnpublishedWritings/HomosexualityCausesAndCures.pdf

Therapy

6. The Truth Sets You Free, Counseling and Therapy: http://thetruthsetsyoufree.wordpress.com/category/counselling-therapy/

7. Battle for Normality, Knowing Oneself, Chapter 7, by Gerard van den Aardweg, Ph.D.: http://www.jonahweb.org/sections.php?secId=238

8. People Can Change, An Integrated Solution: http://www.peoplecanchange.com/change/mans.php

9. Homosexuality and Hope, Q&A on causes and healing: http://www.maritalhealing.com/HSaH.pdf

original research: http://catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/ho0039.html/

10. National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (Treatment of Male Homosexuality: A Cognitive-Behavioral and Interpersonal Approach): http://narth.com/docs/byrd.html

The Healing of Homosexual Attractions, by Richard Fitzgibbons: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resource.php?n=279

General Knowledge

11. Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons, by CDF: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

12. Top Ten Myths about Homosexuality, by Family Research Council: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF10F01.pdf

13. Facts about Youth: Quick Facts about Homosexuality: http://factsaboutyouth.com/getthefacts/quickfacts/

14. JONAH, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, Common Questions: http://www.jonahweb.org/sections.php?secId=16

15. Courage: http://www.couragerc.net/

16. Getting the Facts: Same-Sex Marriage - http://www.familyresearchinst.org/2009/02/getting-the-facts-same-sex-marriage/

17. A summary: Science Facts on Homosexual Unions: http://primacyofreason.blogspot.com/2011/12/science-facts-on-same-sex-marriage.html



Please also see Key Facts about Homosexuality, a one-page leaflet containing scientific research on the topic.

The leaflet differentiates between same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior, explains why homosexuality is not genetic and points to the factors behind same-sex attraction, and shows how therapy can be achieved.