Rome, May 12 (BNA): Pope Francis joined Italy’s conservative prime minister on Friday in encouraging Italians to have more children.
Francis urged concrete political action to reverse the “demographic winter”, which in terms of population led to the disappearance of a city the size of Bari last year.
And blasting couples who have pets instead of children, Francis called for resources to be dedicated to helping couples grow their families, saying it was necessary to “instill the future” with hope.
Italy recorded a record low number of live births last year, 392,598, which along with a high number of deaths, 713,499, has accelerated a demographic trend that threatens to disrupt the country’s social security system.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government is backing a campaign to encourage at least 500,000 births a year by 2033, a rate demographers say is needed to prevent the economy from collapsing by increasing the wage-earning population as retirees depend on their pensions.