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Pope worried about couples' reluctance to have children

The frequent unwillingness of couples in the western countries to reproduce conceals "a view of marital love incapable of confidence in the future", according to Pope John Paul II.

Zenit reports that the Holy Father focused on the love of spouses in this week's Wednesday General Audience at the Vatican.

Reflecting on Psalm 44(45), he spoke of a "gentle feminine portrait" of the bride of a symbolic Jewish king, in whom the Jewish tradition has seen the Messiah, and the Christian tradition Christ himself. He dedicated the poetic composition "to all couples who live their marriage with intensity and inner freshness."

"Genuine gladness, much more profound than simple gaiety, is an expression of love, which participates in the good of the person loved with serenity of heart," he said.

He then mentioned "another reality" beyond this happiness, which "is radically inherent in marriage: fecundity".

"The future, not just of the dynasty but of humanity, is brought about precisely because the couple offers new creatures to the world," he added. "It is an important and timely topic in the West, often incapable of ensuring its own existence in the future through the generation and care of new creatures, who will continue the civilization of peoples and realize the history of salvation."

Pope Worried About Lack of Children in West (Zenit 6/10/04)

Pope John Paul II General Audience (6/10/04)
Pope says Communism "necessary evil" (Reuters 7/10/04)
Man is capable of knowing objective norms of moral behavior, Pope says (Catholic News Agency 7/10/04)
Russian army choir, orchestra, and ballet corps to perform for Pope (Catholic News Agency 7/10/04)
Pope reflects on marriage as a sign of God's love for all (Independent Catholic News 7/10/04)
The Pope's weekly teaching: "The future, not only of a dynasty but of humanity, is guaranteed precisely because the couple offers the world new our day the West is often incapable of entrusting its life to the future through the generation and protection of new persons" (Fides 6/10/04)
Pope speaks of marriage commitment, prays couples have children (Catholic News Service 6/10/04)
New book by Pope due out in spring 2005 (Catholic World News 7/10/04)
Pope replaces sex scandal bishop (BBC 7/10/04)
Pope to publish new book: "Memory and Identity" (Vatican Information Service 7/10/04)
Russian Army Choir, orchestra to perform for John Paul II (Vatican Information Service 7/10/04)

8 Oct 2004