"No western country is producing enough babies for a stable population," Sydney Cardinal George Pell said yesterday.The Sydney Morning Herald quotes Cardinal Pell as saying that Australians were tempted to believe they could have a strong, happy family life without God, he said.
"There is a crisis in the western world. No western country is producing enough babies to keep the population stable, no western country," he said.
"In many cases there is an increase in divorce and there is an increase in serial monogamy.Dr Pell said Australia faced two challenges.
"One is the Australian temptation to believe that you can have a good, happy life without God," he said.
"And the second challenge revolves around the concept of sexuality, marriage and family.
"Ruthless commercial forces are telling young people that this is the way forward, this is the modern way and they remain total silent on the difficulties and damage this does to family life."
Dr Pell also addressed the high level of youth suicide in Australia.
"It's a danger sign. It's a great paradox," he said.
"We have a wonderful society here in Australia, in many ways a lot of justice, and yet we have the third or fourth highest rate of youth male suicide in the world."
The archbishop said faith in religion, not pre-marital sex or drugs, would help prevent people taking their own lives.
"The basic Christian response to that is to say that our young people need faith and hope and love, and that we will make the situation worse by irresponsibly encouraging them into promiscuity or drugs or alcohol," Dr Pell said.
"That's only a prison. There's no escape if people flee resolutely in that direction."
Populate or perish: Pell (The Age, 15/7/08)
Commercial forces 'causing baby crisis' (Sydney Morning Herald
Cardinal George Pell (Sydney Archdiocese)
Cardinal George Pell (Wikipedia)