Pope Benedict XVI said Friday that a lack of true love was behind an increase in failed marriages and a decrease in birth rates in much of the developed world.
Benedict told members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences that children nowadays also aren't as valued as they once were, in part because of the economic, social and cultural changes in the globalized world.
"Often, instead of feeling loved and cherished (children) appear to be merely tolerated," he said.
"Perhaps the lack of such creative and forward-looking love is the reason why many couples today choose not to marry, why so many marriages fail and why birth rates have significantly diminished," he said.
Cherie Blair Taken to Task?
Participating in the conference was Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Vatican said she and Benedict met Friday, but gave no details.
What No Talk of NFP?
Benedict has spoken out several times in favor of large families and called for legislation to help support families with children.
European Union statistics put the average number of children per woman at 1.5. But in some countries, including Catholic Italy and Spain, the average is down to about 1.3.
A decided shift in tone from reducing birthrate and limiting births through the use of NFP to being open to life and love. It is a refreshing change. Wouldn't you LOVE to be a fly on the wall for Cherie Blair's little tete a tete with the Holy Father?
You don't think it could possibly have anything to do with this do you?
Photo of Cherie Blair at a Planned Parenthood event offering a condom to the journalist. Blair is a supporter of Planned Parenthood and has hosted their Lust 4 Life condom distribution campaign at 10 Downing Street. Yes, Mrs. Blair is Catholic.
Photo from Catholic World News.