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Pope Encourages Catholics to Have Large Families, Citing “Demographic Deficit”

ROME, August 31, 2005 ( – In remarks given during his weekly audience, during which he meets with pilgrims around the world, Pope Benedict XVI focused on the gift and the beauty of the large family, while citing a “demographic deficit” that he says is depriving Western nations of “freshness, energy, and the future incarnate in children.”

“With the Lord,” said the pope, commenting on the text of Psalm 126, “there is prosperity and fruitfulness, a family rich with children and serenity, a city well supplied and protected, free from fears and insecurities.”

“The father who had children in his youthful days,” he continued, “will not only enjoy them in all their vigor, but they will be his support in his old age. Thus he is able to look forward to the future with security, becoming like a warrior, armed with all those sharpened and victorious arrows that are the children.”

“The image which emerges from the culture of that time has the purpose of celebrating security, stability, the strength of a large family, as will be repeated in Psalm 127, which paints a portrait of a happy family.”

“The final frame [of the psalm] presents a father surrounded by his children, who is welcomed with great respect at the city gates, the center of public life. Fathering children is thus a gift carrying life and the well-being of society.”

Linking his remarks on the psalm to the modern-day world situation, he lamented that “We are noticing it in our own day with nations where the demographic deficit is depriving them of freshness, energy, and the future incarnate in children.”

Pope Benedict’s message is viewed by orthodox Catholics as especially timely, since the frightening demographic collapse across the Western world has become increasingly apparent in recent years. For years, large sections of the developed Catholic world have ignored the Church’s prohibition on birth control, despite warnings by the Church and pro-family activists of the negative impact this would have on Church and society and the entire culture.



Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved