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World Population Day, seeks to raise awareness of issues around world population. The world’s population has grown from 3 billion in 1960, to 5 billion in 1987, to about 7 billion now. Despite having the Earth capacity to produce enough food for everyone, the increasing environmental degradation, armed conflicts, and population displacements cause by both of these, makes food growth and distribution difficult.

With food and water crises comes additional human rights abuses and further losses of biological diversity needed to maintain a healthy environment. Increasing population also brings growing demands for energy. Even renewable, clean energy sources have limited capacity to meet the growing needs of this planet’s growing population. The Catholic Church has not yet addressed the rate of population growth and its long-term affect on the planet. We pray that the Church will seriously reflect on this crisis and exert moral leadership on how best to respect human dignity and human life, while also protecting Earth and its limited resources.

God, we thank you for the gift of all the great diversity of people on planet Earth. We are grateful for the unique gifts of each person. We thank you, too, for Earth, our common home. She sustains us with water, food, and air. We know her resources are not limitless and we know that population growth cannot continue at a limitless rate. Help us to live responsibly on this earth with respect for human dignity, while cherishing all creation.