Pope Benedict XVI told Catholics to have more babies “for the good of society,” saying that some countries were being sapped of energy because of low birth rates.
“Having children is a gift that brings life and well-being to society,” he told about 15,000 people at his weekly audience in the Vatican, to which he arrived by helicopter from his summer residence southeast of Rome.
He said the decline in the number of births “deprives some nations of freshness and energy and of hopes for the future incarnate in children.”
The pope also spoke of “the security, the stability and the force of a numerous family.”
Although the Vatican bans all forms of articial contraception, this is widely ignored even in predominantly Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain, which have some of the lowest birth rates in the world.
The pontiff regretted that God is “unhappily often excluded or ignored” in many societies.
“A sound society certainly is born out of the commitment of all of its members, but it also has a need of the blessing and support of God,” he said.