If you’ve ever wondered whether Pope Francis is a cat person or a dog person, you finally have your answer: he is neither.
The pope’s described those who do choose to have cats and dogs over having babies as “selfish” and as pursuing a lifestyle that “diminishes” us and “takes away from our humanity”.
He made the comments to a general audience at the Vatican, sharing comments that were very different to last week’s effort – where he issued a global rallying call to end violence against women, describing such violence as insulting to God.
Speaking this time on the subject of parenthood at the Vatican, he even took aim at those who choose to have only one child.
“Today, we see a form of selfishness,” he said. “We see that some people do not want to have a child. 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 reality.”
He continued by describing having cats and dogs as denying fatherhood and motherhood in way that “diminishes us”, leading to “civilisation” growing old “without humanity because we lose the richness of fatherhood and motherhood, and it is the country that suffers.”
As for those couples who can’t have children? Well they can consider adoption, he said.
And those who might be “afraid” of having children? Well “having a child is always a risk, but there is more risk in not having a child.”
Pope Francis noted the “demographic Winter” of the past couple of years, likely in reference to declining birth-rates across different parts of the world as a result of the pandemic.
The Pope did not provide advice on how to financially manage the cost of children.