Pope Francis pointed out this Thursday that “not seeing the problem of childlessness is a short-sighted attitude” and called for “concrete policies to relaunch the birth rate” to be carried out at all levels.
Francis made this reflection in a message sent to the States General of Natality, an event held in Rome and to which Francis could not attend due to his knee problem, which prevents him from walking.
The Pope said that there is “an existential periphery in the West that is not immediately noticeable and that is that of women and men who have the desire to have a child, but cannot do so.”
“Many young people struggle to realize their family dream. And so they lower the bar of desire and settle for mediocre substitutes, such as business, the car, travel, the jealous custody of free time… The beauty of a family rich in children runs the risk of becoming a utopia, a dream difficult to carry out”, stressed the Argentine pontiff.
Francis said he is “frightened” by this “new poverty” of those who “discard the desire for happiness in their hearts, of those who are resigned to diluting their greatest aspirations, of those who are content with little and stop hoping for more.”
“Yes, it is a tragic poverty, because it hits humans in their greatest wealth: giving birth to lives to take care of them, passing on to others with love the existence received,” he added.
He criticized that “not seeing the problem of childlessness is a myopic attitude”, because “it is turning one’s back, thinking that the problems are always too complex and that nothing can be done”.
Faced with the low birth rates in the West “inexorably worsen from year to year,” Francis encouraged to change things “without fear, beyond partisan interests and ideological proclamations.”
“That is why I hope that at all levels – institutional, media, cultural, economic and social – promote, improve and apply specific policies aimed at relaunching the birth rate and the family. Companies, banks, associations, unions, athletes, actors, writers, politicians, all together to reflect on how to start waiting for life again », he stressed.