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Pope Francis says family-friendly choices should be taken to ensure human life is recognised as a gift (Bigstock)

Blind, unbridled consumerism and selfishness – not the number of people on the planet having children – are the root causes of the world’s problems, Pope Francis said. Source: CNS.

The reasons for pollution and world hunger, for example, are not based on the number of children being born, but on “the choices of those who think only of themselves, the delusion of unbridled, blind and rampant materialism, of a consumerism that, like an evil virus, erodes at the root the existence of people and society”, he said.

“Human life is not a problem, it is a gift,” he said. “The problem is not how many of us there are in the world, but what kind of world we are building.” 

Pope Francis made his remarks at a meeting in Rome on May 10 on Italy’s decline in births and population growth.

In his talk, Pope Francis said the root cause of problems in the world “is not babies being born: it is selfishness, consumerism and individualism, which make people satiated, lonely and unhappy”.

Homes become “very sad places”, he said, emptied of children and “filled with objects”, dogs or cats.

The Pope said long-term approaches, effective policies, and bold, concrete decisions are needed so that what seeds are sown today, children “can reap tomorrow”. 

“Serious and effective family-friendly choices” need to be made, he said. For example, women should never be put in a position where they have to choose between work and child care, and young people should not carry the paralysing burden of job insecurity and the inability to buy a home.

There should also be more intergenerational solidarity and generosity, the Pope said.

In every discussion about birthrates and demographics, he said, do not forget to emphasise the importance of grandparents playing an active role in families.

It is “cultural suicide” to “discard” grandparents or let them live solitary lives, he said.


World’s ills rooted in too much greed, not too many babies, pope says (CNS)