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Pope Francis feels that people who deny parenthood or opt to have pets over children are selfish.
“Today … we see a form of selfishness, we see that some people do not want to have a child.” The Pope said as he was speaking to a general audience at the Vatican in Rome when he made the comments.
“Sometimes they have one, and that’s it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of children. This may make people laugh, but it is a reality.” continued the Pope.
He said that the concept of not having children “is a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity.”
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. -Psalm 127:3
Last year, he made similar comments when he said that couples who choose not to have children are like “old maids”. He also said that they lacked courage.
During his speech, he even had a message for people who cannot physically have children and suggested they adopt and “not to be afraid” of parenthood. The Pope has also said that it is “foolish” to consider having children a burden. It’s interesting to see the Pope making such comments, especially as it seems to be in contrast with the general trend of couples not having children. In the U.S. alone, daily birth rates drop an average of 0.96 percent a year.
“Civilisation grows old without humanity because we lose the richness of fatherhood and motherhood, and it is the country that suffers”.
In 2014 Pope Francis said that choosing to have pets over children was “another phenomenon of cultural degradation.” He believes some people view emotional relationships with pets as “easier” than a more “complex” relationship between parents and children. Pope Francis also believes that some people choose pets over children because they are “afraid of commitment.”
He went on to say that “Having a child is always a risk, but there is more risk in not having a child.”
He also said that having a pet is like having a “robot” and that people should choose to have children instead. Pope Francis a “demographic winter” that references the worldwide decline of birthing rates. Unlike the U.S., other countries like Italy, Spain and France are experiencing a higher drop in birthing rates which some predict will continue partially due to the pandemic. It’s a controversial topic, but the Pope is adamant that the decline in birth rates will have a negative impact on society.
Many people criticize the Pope’s comments and believe his influence should be used for more important issues. This isn’t the first time the Pope has spoken on the topic and surely won’t be the last.