Pope Francis departed from the script on Sunday during a speech in southern Italy, calling on Italians to start reproducing again and the country to open its hearts to migrants.

He was responding, not for the first time, to the fact that Italy had one of the lowest birth rates in Europe.

After celebrating Holy Mass, outdoor in Matera, Italy, the Pope the cuff saidreports The Associated Press, urging Italians to increase the rate of procreation.

“I would like to ask Italy: More births, more children,” said Francis.

Earlier this year, he condemned the country’s “demographic winter”.

Italy has the lowest birth rate since unification in 1861, with just 404,000 live births in 2020. the deficit between births and d*aths 342,000, the biggest difference from the Spanish flu in 1918. This is a difference of approximately Florence’s population size.

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“Italy without children is Italy for which there is no place in the future,” said Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the time. “Italy, which is slowly cessation of existence.”

Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni, who on Sunday he seemed to have won voting to replace him, campaigned on the mantra “God, family and homeland.”

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Francis said last year that a government policy should be created to ensure the financial stability of families, to encourage them to stay in Italy and have families.

In his speech on Sunday, he said Italy should also include migrants, noting that it was World Day of Migrants and Refugees in the Catholic Church. He said that “God’s plan” is for migrants and victims of trafficking to live in peace and dignity, in a more “inclusive and fraternal future.”

Meloni has also called for financial incentives for families, but is known to be averse to immigrants.

The United States is in a similar position when it comes to birth, and a January 2019 study found that Americans were not reproducing fast enough to rebuild an aging population. The increase in May 2022 was still lower than before the pandemic.

With News Wire services

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