Pope Francis Tells Italians ‘Having Children Is a Duty to Survive’

2024-01-21 15:12:23

ROME, Italy — Pope Francis once again voiced his concern for Europe’s demographic winter on Saturday, urging Italians to have more children.

“I am worried about the low birth rate,” the pontiff told an Italian association of local politicians. “There is a culture of depopulation that comes from the fact that few children are born.”

“It is true, anyone can have a dog, it is true: but we need children,” he continued. “In Italy, Spain … there is a need for children.”

“Think that one of these Mediterranean countries has an average age of 46 years! I don’t know what it is in Italy, but it is close to that level,” the pope stated.

According to Italy’s National Institute of Statistics, the national birthrate is down to 1.25 children per woman, well below the replacement rate. The mean age of the population is 46.6 years, as the pope stated.

In his address, Francis insisted on the importance of having more children, linking it to the survival of the nation.

“People do not have children — it is easier to have a dog,” he repeated. “We must take the problem of the birth rate seriously, take it seriously because the future of the country is at stake there.”

“The future is at stake. Having children is a duty to survive, to go forward. Think about this. This is not an advertisement for a birth agency, no, no; but I want to emphasize this: the drama of the birth rate,” he concluded.



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