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German cardinal calls for more children, mothers at home to address demographic crisis

May 28, 2013

Recalling that mothers who stayed at home in Communist East Germany were called demented, Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne said in a newspaper interview that “it would be better for society to create a climate where women had more children.”

Germany’s average birthrate of 1.36 is among the lowest in the world.

“That means promoting the high value of the family with mother and father for the children,” he said. “Of course the material security of the wife, for her later pension too, must be secured.”

Referring to the policies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Cardinal Meisner added:

Where are women really publicly encouraged to stay at home and have three or four children? One should intervene here and not--as Mrs. Merkel does currently--present immigration as the solution to our demographic problem.

We cannot take the young people away from Portugal and Spain and thus rob their countries of their future just out of egotism. We should train these unemployed people and offer them perspectives, but then allow them to return home where they are needed.


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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - May. 29, 2013 11:24 AM ET USA

    This takes me back nearly four decades to my first full time "life-fulfilling job," when one of my colleagues announced that she was going to move with her husband to their family farm, there to raise her family full-time. The envy I felt was indescribable, and I realized in one stroke that in choosing "liberation," women cheated themselves.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - May. 28, 2013 7:34 PM ET USA

    Amen. Now, how do we reverse six decades of telling mom to fulfill herself with non-Mom type money-work? Offering cash incentives has not worked anywhere. Perhaps a full and fervent explanation of the Gospel of Life?