14 May 2021
A good future requires families being taken care of
Pope Francis at the opening of the States General for Birth-rates
"Children are the hope that revives a people! [...] If families are not at the centre of the present, there will be no future; but if families restart, everything restarts." Said Pope Francis this morning as he opened the States General for Birth-rates (Stati Generali della Natalità), organised by the Forum of Italian Family Associations.
Concern for what "is becoming the ‘old continent’, no longer because of its glorious history but because of its advanced age" was at the centre of the Holy Father's speech, which did not fail, however, to refer to the situation in Italy and in particular to the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.
The Pope then recalled how, in these past months, families have had to play even more additional roles than usual: "How many families in these months have had to work overtime, dividing the house between work and school, with parents who have acted as teachers, computer technicians, workers, psychologists!" and then added "And how many sacrifices are required of grandparents, true lifeboats for families!" The birth-rate, said the Pope, must take centre stage in the reconstruction of our societies after the pandemic.
"During the phases of reconstruction following the wars that devastated Europe and the world in past centuries, there was no restart without an explosion of births, without the ability to instil confidence and hope in the younger generations. Today, too, we find ourselves in a restart-situation, which is as difficult as it is full of expectation: we cannot follow short-sighted models of growth, as if preparing for tomorrow required only a few hasty adjustments".