President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Peter Raven talked about how Pope Francis believes people should have a limited number of children to control overpopulation. However, all forms of artificial birth control are still being condemned by the Catholic Church. The Vatican academy member was speaking at a forum called “How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend,” which was run by the Vatican Thursday last week.

Pope Francis and his three most recent predecessors have always argued that you should not have more children than you can bring up properly,” Raven said.

The Pope has called for a limited number of people as a way to counteract the alarming overpopulation rate.

Global population to reach 11 billion

Current statistics indicate that the current global population has more than doubled since 1960 – that being almost 7.5 billion. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has since predicted that the year 2030 will see 8.5 billion people. By 2050, the numbers will be up at 9 billion. Finally, the end of the century will have an estimated 11.2 billion people.

Meanwhile, India and China have been accounted for as countries with the quickest growth in population. However, statistics provided by the UN show that between 2015 and 2050, Africa will bring in more than 50 percent of the total population of the world.

In a 2015 report, only 33 percent of women in Africa of reproductive age chose to use contraceptive methods.

Catholic Church: still no to birth control

Despite Raven relaying Pope Francis’ stance on having numerous children, the Catholic Church still maintains its position against the use of birth control. Artificial contraception is regarded as immoral and sinful, and is against the divine plan, which is to create new life.

Catholics are encouraged by the Church to use Natural Family Planning (NFP) methods instead of condoms, the pill, diaphragms and IUDs.

Ironically, the UN strongly encourages family planning and a method being pushed to do so is by way of contraceptives. In 2012, the United Nations Population Fund published an annual report indicating that access to birth control is a human right.