Rome, Jan. 17, 2007 (CWNews.com) - The latest demographic statistics for 2005 show only 1.33 children being born to the average woman in Italy over the course of her childbearing years (15-49).
That figure remains one of the lowest in Europe, and well below the “replacement level” needed to maintain a constant population, but somewhat higher than the all-time low of 1.19 recorded in Italy in 1995.
In recent decades Italy has consistently ranked among Europe’s least fertile countries in terms of population, with the number of children born to the average woman falling regularly below the replacement level, except for a brief “baby-boom” in the early 1960s that brought the average childbearing figure up to 2.7.
I'm reminded of the oft-quoted Proverbs 14:12 : "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." And not just the death of one man, but of an entire nation, it now appears.
Clearly, part of this Italian "way" -- one being followed in most other Western countries, too -- is the devaluation of having and raising children, and the widespread use of contraception and abortion. Maybe Italy is nominally still a Catholic country, but obviously the teachings of the Church on these subjects long ago ceased to guide the way Italians behave. They're now far too sophisticated to obey their Church.
The reward of their sophistication will very likely be the disappearance of the Italian people as an ethnic group. Or, more accurately, the disappearance of all those Italians who follow their own, very sophisticated way.
The sad history of the human race tells many a tale of the extermination of ethnic groups by others. But the suicide of ethnic groups -- now that's an innovation that will surely rank as one of the distinctives of our own very, very sophisticated age.