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World Congress of Families Praises Pope's Comments on Population Decline

Contact: Larry Jacobs, World Congress of Families, 513-515-3685 cell, 815-964-5819, media@worldcongress.org   


MEDIA ADVISORY, Jan. 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- World Congress of Families President Allan Carlson praised the pope's comments on European population decline as "far-sighted and courageous."


Speaking to the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict XVI said low birthrates in Europe reflected the fact that many couples no longer seem to want children – a tragedy which, the pope said, has "penetrated my soul."


"Men and women today are unsure about the future," Benedict observed. "If we do not relearn the basic foundation of faith – if we do not recover the certainty of faith – it will be ever more difficult for us to give others the gift of life and the challenges of an unknown future."


"Secularism is a societal death-wish," Carlson observed. "Those who believe that life has no higher purpose than self-gratification won't make the sacrifices necessary to raise a family.  Empty churches lead to empty nurseries."


European countries, which have the lowest rates of religious observance in the world, also have the lowest birthrates. Of the ten lowest birthrates, 9 are in Europe – the tenth is in Japan, where a similar process is underway.


Carlson: "Italy's birthrate is 1.2 children per woman. Spain's is 1.15. A nation needs a birthrate of about 2.1 just to replace current population. For Europe, demographic winter is fast becoming a reality."


World Congress of Families IV will be held in Warsaw, Poland, May 11-13, 2007.


"Poland was chosen as the site for WCF IV because we share Benedict XVI's concern with falling birthrates and family decline in Europe," Carlson commented. "At the same time, as a nation with strong faith-ties, Poland can lead Europe in a pro-family renaissance."


For more information on World Congress of Families IV, visit the Congress website – www.worldcongress.org. To schedule an interview with Allan Carlson, contact Larry Jacobs at 815-964-5819, 1-800-461-3113, or email a request to larry@worldcongress.org.


The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, and leaders that seeks to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society.  The WCF (with its headquarters in Rockford, IL) was founded by Allan Carlson, president of The Howard Center, in 1997.  To date, there have been three World Congresses of Families – Prague (1997), Geneva (1999) and Mexico City (2004). WCF IV will be in Warsaw, Poland, May 11-13, 2007.