November 15, 2002
BID BYE TO THE BOOT:Pope Urges Italians to Increase Birthrate: In first papal speech to Parliament, John Paul II says state should ease the raising of children. He calls on the EU to embrace religious roots. (David Holley and Maria De Cristofaro, November 15, 2002, LA Times)
In the first papal speech to Italy's Parliament, Pope John Paul II on Thursday urged Italians to have more babies, and called on an expanding European Union not to forget its religious roots. [...]
John Paul, 82, described Italy's low birthrate and the aging of its society as a "grave threat." The government should "make the task of having children and bringing them up less burdensome both socially and economically," he said.
Italy has one of the lowest birthrates in the world and one of the oldest populations. Italian women on average have 1.23 children, compared with a U.S. average of about 2.1.
The warning probably comes to late to save Italy, but one needn't be a mathematician or a demographer to realize that a birthrate that low is catastrophic and makes the second part of his warning even more dire. The Italians are so far below replacement rate that they face either the collapse of their society or the prospect of such massive immigration that their culture will be radically transformed, particularly since the nearest and most eager immigrant pool is Islamic. In a generation or two the Italy of Western history will be gone, replaced by an Islamified state.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 15, 2002 11:29 AM