“The General State of the Birth Rate” brought together political, business, and organization leaders to reflect on Italy’s demographic crisis, caused by one of the lowest birth rates in Europe: 1.24 births per woman.
“The data, the forecasts, the numbers are now known to all: we need concreteness,” Pope Francis said in his message.
“It is time to give real answers to families and young people: hope cannot and must not die of waiting.”
Francis said there was an invisible “existential periphery” in the West, consisting of the men and women who want to have children but are unable to achieve it.
Struggling to realize their dream of children, some people settle for “mediocre substitutes,” he added, such as work, cars, travel, and leisure time.
“The beauty of a family full of children is in danger of becoming a utopia, a dream difficult to realize,” he said.
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