Pope Francis on Friday urged all countries to promote family-friendly policies.
In an address to members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on April 29, the pope insisted that it was possible to create “a family-friendly society” despite major cultural and economic obstacles.
“Family-friendly social, economic, and cultural policies need to be promoted in all countries,” he said.
“These include, for example, policies that make it possible to harmonize family and work; fiscal policies that recognize family burdens and support the educational functions of families by adopting appropriate instruments of fiscal equity; policies that welcome life; and social, psychological, and health services centered on support for couple and parental relationships.”
He added: “A ‘family-friendly’ society is possible. Because society is born and evolves with the family. Not everything is attributable to a contract, nor can everything be imposed by command.”
The meeting was their first in-person plenary session since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
During his speech in the Vatican’s Consistory Hall, the pope noted that Italy is suffering from a demographic crisis due to its low birth rate.
“The demographic winter is a serious matter. Here in Italy it is a serious matter compared to other countries in Europe. It cannot be left aside,” he commented.
The pope was speaking to the pontifical academy for the first time since the appointment of the body’s new chancellor, Cardinal Peter Turkson.
The Ghanaian cardinal succeeded the 79-year-old Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, who had led the institution since 1998.
The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was established on 1994 by Pope John Paul II “with the aim of promoting the study and progress of the social sciences, primarily economics, sociology, law and political science.”
It is based at the Casina Pio IV in the Vatican Gardens.