Pope Francis shared his opinion on couples who decide to have pets instead of children, saying that it results in a loss of “humanity.”
While speaking to a general audience about Saint Joseph serving as Jesus’ “foster father,” Pope Francis, 85, said, according to translation from Vatican News, “Joseph shows us that this type of bond is not secondary; it is not an afterthought, no, this kind of choice is among the highest forms of love, and of fatherhood and motherhood. How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them?”
He applauded those who decide to adopt children before turning his attention to couples who choose to have pets rather than children.
“Some people don’t wish to have children, or maybe just one or two. Many couples don’t have children, perhaps because they do not wish to, or they only have one and not more,” Pope Francis said. “But they might have two domestic animals, two dogs or cats. This is quite a contrast.”
He said that “giving up on being a mother or father can take some of our humanity away from us,” adding, “society becomes older and without humanity because we lose the richness of motherhood and fatherhood. Nations suffer from this.”
He later added that while it’s “always a risk” to have children biologically or through adoption, it’s “even more risky not having children.”
“We need to be open to motherhood and fatherhood otherwise we can be lacking in ourselves and we can lack in humanity,” Pope Francis said.
The Pope is no stranger to openly speaking on marriages and families. A March 2021 statement from the Vatican, approved by Pope Francis, said the Catholic Church will not bless same-sex unions because God “does not and cannot bless sin.”
The statement served as a formal response to questions regarding the Church’s power to bless same-sex marriages after Pope Francis declared his support for the civil unions of same-sex couples.
While the Vatican said that the community should welcome gay people with “respect and sensitivity,” their unions would not receive the same embrace, as under Catholic teachings, marriages as per “God’s plan” should be between a man and a woman to create new life.
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