- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pope Francis told a crowd Wednesday at the Vatican that an enriched society requires that children be valued and that “the choice to not have children is selfish.”

“Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents,” said the pope, who grew up in a family with five children, CNS News reported. “The choice to not have children is selfish.”

“Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: It is enriched, not impoverished!” he said in his general audience at St. Peter’s Square. “Children learn to take charge of their family, they mature in the sharing of sacrifices, and they grow in appreciation of its gifts. The experience of joyful fraternity animates the respect and care of parents, who are due our gratitude.

“A society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is a depressed society,” the pope said.

“Just think of the many societies we know here in Europe,” he continued. “They are depressed societies because they don’t want children, they don’t have children. The birth rate doesn’t even reach 1%, why? Everyone should think about that and answer it personally.”

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