Pope Francis Warns Against “Grandmother Europe”

From an interview on Portuguese radio:

Francis observed that the birthrate is very low in many countries such as Italy, Portugal and Spain. “When there is an empty space, people seek to fill it. If a country has no children, migrants come to occupy that space. … Not wanting children is, in part – and this is my interpretation, I don’t know if it is correct – it is linked to the culture of comfort, isn’t it?” He also lamented that then the elderly “are left alone.”

“I think that the great challenge facing Europe is to become once again Mother Europe, rather than Grandmother Europe,” he said. While noting he does not reproach Europe for having made mistakes, he did urge it to recover its Christian roots and stressed it is never too late to change.

 

For some perspective:

By 2020, in the Land of the Rising Sun, adult diapers will outsell baby diapers: The sun also sets. In The Children of Men, the barrenness is a medical condition; in real life, in some of the oldest nations on earth, from Madrid to Tokyo, it’s a voluntary societal self-extinction. In Europe, the demographic death spiral is obscured by high Muslim immigration; in Japan, which retains a cultural aversion to immigration of any kind, there are no foreigners to be the children you couldn’t be bothered having yourself. In welfare states, the future is premised on social solidarity: The young will pay for the costs of the old. But, as the West ages, social solidarity frays…

 

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