The head of the Roman Catholic Church Pope Francis has issued a stern warning to fathers who work long hours. He criticised workaholic dads for being 'symbolically absent' from their families, and of effectively making their children 'orphans'. The Pope was speaking to a congregation at the Vatican on Wednesday when he made his plea for fathers to spend more time with their children and get more involved in family life. He told worshippers that the absence of fathers in the family is one of the reasons that children experience problems growing up. He said fathers who focused too much on their jobs was one of the causes of "deviances of children and adolescents".
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Pope Francis said this problem of fathers being obsessed with their jobs and not spending quality time with their family was particularly prevalent in Europe and North America. He said: "Fathers are so focused on themselves, on their work, and at times their personal fulfillment, that they even forget their families, leaving children and the young to their own devices." He added: "The feeling of orphanhood experienced by many young people is more profound than we might think. They are orphans in their families because their fathers are often absent from the home, but also, and above all, because when they are present, they do not act like fathers." He warned that fatherless families are being accepted as the norm.