The Pope told a Rome conference of family-oriented organisations that young Italians are “selfish and egotistical”. They should have more kids and fewer pets.
He spoke with Italian Prime Minster Giorgia Mello in an attempt to encourage political leaders to reverse the “demographic cold” in the country. Last year, a population drop of over 300,000.
The Pope, after blasting couples for choosing pets over children, said that resources should be devoted to helping them to grow families. He added that it was important to “plant” the future with hope.
Francis said at a gathering of family-friendly organisations in Rome.
Let us not think that the past is already marked and that there is nothing that can be done to change it.
Italy’s record low number of live births, 392,598, combined with the high number of deaths (713,499), means that a trend in demographics has been accelerated. This could have an impact on its social security system.
Ms Meloni , who is regarded as a leader of the right-wing in Italy, along with her government, are supporting a campaign that encourages at least 500,000 babies to be born every year by the year 2033. Demographers believe this rate is necessary to prevent the collapse of the economy and to allow more people to work, especially when the number pensioners is increasing.
Her government proposed several measures that would encourage families to have a larger number of children.
The fertility rate in Italy is one of the lowest rates in the world at 1,24 children per woman.
Many women delay having children because of the lack of affordable childcare and low wages, as well as unstable employment.
Ms Meloni , who has a child with her partner, spoke at the conference about how she wanted to reverse the trend of declining births. She warned that surrogacy was not advisable, bringing up broader issues around same-sex couples and migrants.
Ms Meloni, who was applauded, said: “We want to create a country where it’s no longer scandalous for people to admit that they are born men or women, regardless of their legitimate choices and inclinations.”
Click here to read more
In Vatican City, the Pope’meets Spider-Man
Pope Francis allows women to vote at upcoming influential Bishops’ Meeting
Pope will spend a ‘few’ days in hospital with respiratory infection
“It is not taboo for people to say that motherhood, wombs and children aren’t products you can buy in a supermarket. You may return the product if it doesn’t meet your expectations.”
She spoke also in a spiritual sense. She said that her government wanted to start by “respecting dignity, uniqueness, sacredness of each and every human being because we all have a unique genetic code”. This, whether you like it or dislike it, is sacred.