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Vatican newspaper rues ‘psychological and social attack’ on childhood

November 20, 2013

In commemoration of Children’s Day, which is celebrated in some places on November 20, L’Osservatore Romano has published an essay by an Italian neonatologist denouncing the “terrible psychological and social attack” on childhood in Western nations.

In a culture that sees “individuals no longer as people, but as consumers,” said Carlo Bellieni, children are so bombarded by advertising that they enter the world of “high heels, lipstick, [and] alcohol” at the age of 12.

Children, he continued, no longer play; instead, they “do sports” and “party.” Microbes that have not been disinfected are seen as threats to the home, while children cannot leave home without parental permission because of a fear of pedophiles – a “modern monster” that could not have flourished without “social indifference,” which is “a caricature of liberty.” Ethicists, added Bellieni, debate whether the “beautiful and natural” act of having children is irrational or immoral.

“Not without reason,” he said, “does the Church invite us to celebrate Christmas, a feast that brings to the world’s attention the figure of the infant, celebrating a child who is God while being a child: a sign of the respect owed to all stages of life, without any exclusion.”

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  • Posted by: garedawg - Nov. 21, 2013 2:20 AM ET USA

    children are so bombarded by advertising that they enter the world of “high heels, lipstick, [and] alcohol” at the age of 12. Age 12? Those are the good old days. It starts a lot sooner now.