Pope Calls On Italians To Have More Kids, Fewer Pets
On Friday, Pope Francis urged young Italians to forgo "selfish, egotistical" decisions and have larger families as Italy faces its greatest population crisis due to a record low birth rate.
- On Friday, Pope Francis urged young Italians to forgo "selfish, egotistical" decisions and have larger families as Italy faces its greatest population crisis due to a record low birth rate.1
- "Let us not resign ourselves to sterile dullness and pessimism," Francis said, calling Italians to have more children and fewer pets to "plant the future" with hope.2
- In addition, he urged lawmakers to find solutions to social and economic barriers to help couples — who he said are weighed down by job insecurity, sky-high rents, and insufficient wages — grow their families.3
- As having children is becoming a "titanic effort" only the rich can afford, Francis said, most couples are "forced to lower the bar of desire, settling for mediocre substitutes — making money, aiming for a career, traveling, jealously guarding leisure time."4
- Francis' comments come as Italy's births dropped below 400K for the first time in 2022, with the overall population declining by 179K to 58.85M.5
- The country could reportedly lose almost a fifth of its residents by 2050, with Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti warning that a declining birth rate is expected to reduce its gross domestic product by 18% by 2042.6
Sources: 1ABC News, 2Los Angeles Times, 3CBS, 4New York Post, 5Reuters, and 6BBC News.
- Narrative A, as provided by Economist. Italy's plummeting birth rate is a national emergency, which could impoverish the country already beset by high levels of public debt. To save the Eurozone's third-largest country from collapse, its government must reduce part-time contracts, help young couples get mortgages, and increase access to subsidized nurseries.
- Narrative B, as provided by Guardian. There's nothing selfish about having pets instead of children. From uncertainty about jobs and inadequate childcare support systems, the constraints are real. Italy is a country of empty cribs because of its deeply patriarchal society, which makes it harder for women to juggle work and family life and forces them to choose between their careers and motherhood.