Families who have many children do not cause poverty, Pope Francis said. The main culprit is “an economic system that has removed the human person from its focus and has placed the god of money” as its priority instead, he said on Jan. 21. On the flight back from Manila to Rome, the pope had told journalists on Jan. 19 that “for the people who are the poorest, a child is a treasure” and “God knows how to help them.” But he also underlined that being a good Catholic did not mean married couples “had to be like rabbits,” that is, have children “one after the other” without any sense of responsibility. Through dialogue with each other, their pastors and church groups, each couple can seek to discern its own “parental responsibility” and recognize there are “licit” means, through natural family planning, to be “prudent” and generous in welcoming life, he said.
The Roots of Poverty