Here is the translation of an excerpt from the Holy Father’s Wednesday Audience on 21 Jan, where he shared his thoughts on his recently concluded trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines:
The meetings with families and young people at Manila, were salient moments of the visit to the Philippines.
Healthy families are essential to the life of society. It gave us consolation and hope to see so many large families that welcome children as a true gift of God. They know that every child is a gift of God.
I heard it said that families with many children and the birth of so many children are among the causes of poverty. It seems to me to be a simplistic opinion. I can say that the main cause of poverty is an economic system that has removed the person from the center and put the god of money there; an economic system that excludes, that always excludes, children, the elderly, the youth, without work… – and that creates the throwaway culture that we live in.
Recalling the figure of Saint Joseph, who protected the life of the “Holy Child,” so venerated in that country, I reminded that it is necessary to protect the families that face different threats, so that they can witness the beauty of the family in God’s plan. It is also necessary to defend them from the new ideological colonizations, which attempts threatens their identity and their mission.
Read the full address here.