Pope Francis called for a “good policy for the families, but above all with the families”.
At an audience for the Italian forum of family associations on Friday, he emphasized that it was not about “ideology” but about “having an eye on the reality and the needs of families in Italy – especially large families who are unfairly disadvantaged “.
“I’m not talking about an ideal family…”
“I’m not talking about an ideal family, a standard model that everyone must follow in order to be happy. Every family has its way and its story – like every person. I am speaking of the concrete reality of many families where parents and children (but also grandparents, uncles or cousins) try every day to move forward without following worldly models, but with a style of simplicity and service.”
The Pope encouraged the Catholic family associations to rely on the Church’s social teaching and to always seek dialogue. Founded in 1992, the “Forum of Family Associations” is strongly Catholic and has built up a network that extends to all Italian regions.
An ugly winter
Of course, the pope also touched on the falling birth rate in Italy, which worries him greatly.
“We are experiencing an ugly, very ugly demographic winter here! After all, the issue of the birth rate – also thanks to your commitment – is back at the top of the political list of urgencies. Now it’s a matter of turning words into deeds… My secretary told me that he saw a woman with a baby carriage in St. Peter’s Square the other day. He looked in – and saw a dog sitting in it! It’s symbolic, that’s why I say it. We need children!”
(vatican news – sk)