Guns and condoms come under fire from Pope Francis at pro-birth conference

(Photo: Vatican News)Pope Francis delivers Christmas greetings and his Urbi et Orbi blessing in St. Peter's Square on Dec. 25, 2021.

The weapons and contraceptive industries have taken some heavy flak from Pope Francis, who has accused them of destroying or preventing life.

The Pope's stance came in a speech at a conference on the demographic crisis gripping Europe and also Italy, Reuters news agency reported on May 10.

The report noted that Europe's fertility rate has remained around 1.5 births a woman for the past decade.

That statistic is above the lows seen in East Asia but far short of the 2.1 needed to maintain population levels.

"There is a fact that a demographics scholar told me. Right now, the investments that give the most revenue are the arms factories and contraceptives. One destroys life; the other prevents life ... What future do we have? It is ugly," Pope Francis said.

"Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits, but no," he had said during a flight home from the Philippines in 2015, adding that the church promotes "responsible parenthood."

At the conference, Francis said the number of births was the first indicator of "a people's hope," and Europe was increasingly turning into "an old, tired and resigned" continent.

"Homes are filled with objects and emptied of children, becoming very sad places. There is no shortage of little dogs, cats, these are not lacking. There is a lack of children," the Pope said.


He said governments need "serious and effective" policies in favor of families to tackle the issue.

He urged young people to have confidence in the future and urged policies that do not force mothers not to have to choose between work and childcare and that give young couples the chance of a stable job and the possibility to buy a house.

An example of the gun problem afflicting a country like the United States came on May 13, according to a CNN report.

A Mass celebrating a group of children's first Communion at a church in southern Louisiana was interrupted on May 11, when a 16-year-old boy armed with a gun walked in, the church and police said.

The church said in a statement that no one was injured during the incident in Abbeville at the St. Mary Magdalen Church, during which a "suspicious person" opened the back door of the building while Mass was underway.

In a message to its community the church said that parishioners immediately confronted the person, took him outside, and called the police.

Authorities, responding to a call about a suspicious person with a gun, arrived at the church and took the teen into custody, according to the Abbeville Police Department.

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