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Pope Francis will open meeting aimed at encouraging openness to life

Pope Francis blessing the belly of a pregnant woman, October 05,

© Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

VaticanNews.va - published on 05/03/21

Italy is one of many countries facing alarming birthrates.

The Covid-19 pandemic has only worsened a pre-existing trend in declining birthrates in Italy, as the nation ages and policies to promote births have had little impact.

The Holy See Press Office announced on Monday that Pope Francis will open a meeting on the “General States of Birth.”

Organized by the “Forum for Family Associations,” the event will be held on May 14 at the Auditorium Conciliazione, just a stone’s throw away from the Vatican.

Demographic winter

According to a press release from the Forum, the online initiative will deal with the demographic crisis, “which has become even more important due to the pandemic, which has resulted in over 1 million more poor families” in Italy.

The main goal of the event is to “launch an appeal for mutual responsibility to get the country moving again, beginning with new births.”

Looming depopulation

The Forum’s statement added that Italy is facing depopulation and that birthrates have been negatively affected by “structural and legislative deficiencies at the fiscal, economic, and social levels, which are reflected in the collapse of births.”

The meeting will bring together experts and high-level Italian officials.

Several government minister will take part, including the Family Minister, Elena Bonetti, Education Minister, Patrizio Bianchi, and the president of the Lazio Region, Nicola Zingaretti.

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