Poor Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Germany. He has made headlines (even in English language newspapers) by suggesting that Germany had a demographic problem that should not be solved by immigration. Instead, he suggested that women should stay home and have children. As The Local reports:
“Cardinal of Cologne Joachim Meisner told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper this week that he wanted to see German women having more babies rather than leaving the home to develop careers and earn money.
He said all-day schools and child care were not a problem for him, but suggested, "It would be better for society to create a climate where women had more children. That means promoting the high value of the family with mother and father for the children. Of course the material security of the wife, for her later pension too, must be secured."
He said he had experienced what he called a one-sided tragedy growing up in communist East Germany - where he said women who stayed at home to look after children were told they were demented. He said child care was invented to free up women for the workforce.
When it was suggested to him that women wanted to experience careers and develop themselves at the workplace, Meisner said, "Not all" and criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's policy of encouraging young foreign workers to come to Germany.”
Not only is the family degraded in Germany, but the reliance on immigration does harm to the immigrants home countries:
"We cannot take the young people away from Portugal and Spain and thus rob their countries of their future just out of egotism. We should train these unemployed people and offer them perspectives, but then allow them to return home where they are needed."
Obviously the deluded Cardinal did not get the message. Such views are antediluvian, in fact, reactionary! If you needed any further proof of this, just look at his views on abortion that somehow make their way into The Local’s report (what the connection with the main story is, I’m not too sure…):
“Meisner, who is about to turn 80, and will retire soon, attracted attention previously when he appeared to compare abortion in Germany with the Holocaust.
When asked about this in the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper, he said: "I called things for what they were - situations where people put themselves in charge of life. We are a dying people yet we have a perfect legal framework for abortion. Is that not the suicide of a society? At best one also wants the women out of the family so that production can continue. One cannot get children with money alone."
Whereas the UK’s Daily Telegraph ends its story on Meisner with a fact-light discussion of Meisner’s views on abortion in the situation of a rape. All a good way to muddy the waters. After all, how dare he call on the German Government to promote women to have more babies? How dare he point to Germany’s demographic crisis (fertility rate of 1.3 babies per woman) and how dare he suggest that immigration should not be the solution? How dare he ask for an environment where women are encouraged to do the most amazing and feminine thing that they can possibly do and bring new life into the world? How dare he question the stifling orthodoxy that a woman’s place is in the workforce and not the nursery? How dare he compare the industrialised killing of millions of human beings in the holocaust to the industrialised killing of millions of human beings through abortion? How dare he? Doesn’t he realise that encouraging women to have children is really dragging them back to the kitchen? And not just any kitchen, but a kitchen in the 1940s!?
It’s almost as if Cardinal Meisner reads this blog, because as I’ve said before about other countries, Germans should have more babies. (I’m so old skool like that.)
PS: What really interests me with this story is that there is a lot of distraction (look at his views on rape and abortion!) and very little (read, no) discussion about the problem that Germany faces and the Cardinal's proposed solutions. But why ruin a good story when you can pretend that the Catholic Church is merely indulging in some good old fashioned women bashin'?