It’s well-known that the Catholic Church has a problem with birth control. More than 50 years ago, Pope Paul VI announced a prohibition on artificial contraception and the Church has never reversed course on that, arguing that using it would violate God’s Will.
But there’s finally an exemption that that rule, courtesy of one Catholic leader in Western Australia.
At Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton, corellas (a kind of cockatoo bird) are destroying buildings everywhere. They’re breaking metal structures, stripping off paint, and chewing through wires. The birds are basically creating safety hazards everywhere they go.
So what can locals do? It wouldn’t be right to poison the birds. They can’t shoot them. Some people put spikes on the roofs of buildings, but the birds just tore those off, too.
One local government official, Ian Blayney, is hoping a form of bird birth control known as OvoControl could do the trick.
“It would mean that there are less being bred so that means hopefully the population would come back to a number where people would tolerate them, and we would not be having to cull them.”
Mr Blayney said he did not anticipate that other species would be affected because the corellas were dominant.
A spokesman for the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority said OvoControl was not registered for use in Australia.
She said an application could be made and would be assessed based on its effectiveness and safety for the environment and those using the product.
It’s only a proposed solution for now, but it may be the least harmful way to prevent further damage to buildings including Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral. The leader of that place may not have any other choice:
Diocese heritage director Father Robert Cross said the birds were creating a dangerous fire risk.
“It is a wood roof under the tiles and that has just got to catch fire and we would be in the same state as Notre Dame,” Father Cross said.
Cross hasn’t said he supports the birth control plan, but he didn’t reject it either. That puts him in an unusual dilemma: There’s a potential solution that could literally save the Church but it requires going against what the Church teaches. What will he do? Sure, they’re just birds, but the drug would still be violating God’s wishes, wouldn’t it? And if Cross approves the use of the pill in this situation, what’s the justification and why wouldn’t it apply to anyone else?
We don’t have answers to these questions yet, but Cross will have to figure all this out very soon.
(Image via Shutterstock)