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Humanist. 1983 Sep-Oct; 43(5):18-24, 34.The writer's purpose is to document why an American confrontation with the Vatican over its anti-family planning efforts is a prerequisite to removal of this obstruction. The role of the Roman Catholic Church is seen as an important factor in thwarting organized family planning efforts; it is a variable which must enter population scientists' search for the determinants of fertility. Reasons for which communication with the leadership of the Church will not occur are discussed. Among those is the introduction, under President Reagan, of an administration which is the most Catholic in American history. In addition, international agencies' "population moneys" are being spent for "general development" and not on family planning. It is argued that Catholics have been primarily responsible for propagating the strategy "development will take care of population growth". The decline of the world population growth control effort in the past couple of years has coincided with the activities of the Pope and his position that immoral contraception must be fought. It is claimed that until this stronghold on predominantly Catholic countries is reduced, and the Vatican's strong influence on international donor agencies is eliminated, very little improvement in world efforts to control population growth can be expected. The Vatican's control over governments in predominantly Catholic countries is illustrated by excerpts from a study by a Canadian sociologist who points out that the world is faced with Vatican imperialism to some extent. This article concludes that nothing significant is likely to happen in population control efforts until the United States confronts the Vatican on this issue as the weak governments of most nations would not survive such as effort.