Pope Francis arrives in the House of Chamber prior to addressing a joint meeting of the Congress. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
Last September 24, Pope Francis, during his visit to the U.S., took the time to address the United States Congress. Of his 40-minute speech, a portion was allotted to talk about family, specifically young people’s reluctance to go into family life. Here are key points the Pope touched upon during his speech.
1. “I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without,” the Pope starts off. “Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family.”
2. To dig the topic further in, he points to the role and importance of the family unit in building a great nation. He urges the political leaders to support and encourage the preservation and safeguarding of the family. “I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.”
3. He moves on to one of the major issues family-life is facing today: young people and young professionals’ refusal to start a family. He argues that the reason for this is the lack of financial security; it’s getting harder and harder to make a living, let alone support a family. Economic inequality is delaying the youth from family-life.
4. The youth are reluctant to look away from their careers, even if the reason for it is to start a family, in fear of missing out on something important like a career opportunity, says the Pope. “At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future.”
“Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family,” he adds.
According to the most recent U.S. government figures, fertility rates in the U.S. in 2013 showed an all-time low for the country. The low figures were due to the decline in birth rates among women younger than 30, said the report.
Sources: Sept. 24, 2015. "READ: Pope Francis' Address to Joint Session of Congress". usnews.com Sept. 24, 2015. "The Surprising Things Pope Francis Said to Congress About Family". time.com Feb. 24, 2015. "Is U.S. fertility at an all-time low? It depends". pewresearch.org