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Report: Europe future bleak without God, more children, says Pope

September 10, 2007

From The Scotsman:

Benedict, who appeared to be struggling with a hoarse voice, wove his sermon around the theme of revitalising Christian identity in a modern Europe marked by diminishing Church participation, low birthrates and rampant consumerism.

“Europe has become child-poor,” he said. “We want everything for ourselves and place little trust in the future.”

It was the second time in as many days that the Pope decried Europe’s declining birth rates. On Friday he condemned abortion, rejecting the concept that it could be considered a human right, and urged politicians enact legislation to help new families.

The average birth rate in the European Union is down to about 1.5 children per woman, raising fears that an ageing population will not be able to finance pensions systems.

Some European countries have adopted, or plan to, incentives to encourage couples to have children, to try to reverse trends where couples have fewer children and begin families later. Experts say high housing prices are partly to blame.

For Europe, a faith in the future had to be linked to faith in God and a return to traditional values, the Pope said.

“Where God is, there is the future,” he told the shivering crowd on the grounds of the shrine. He urged his listeners to say ‘yes’ to love and “responsible life.”

Full report here.

See also:
Catholic News Service: Pope says Christianity not just legacy of Europe, but way to future
AINA: The Crisis of the West is the Crisis of Truth, Says Pope Benedict
InterFax: Cardinal Kasper compares modern Europe with “dancing on a powder keg”

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