‘Selfish!’ Pope lays into families who choose pets over having kids – ‘Take their place’

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Speaking to a general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday the pontiff labelled such couples as “selfish”. The 85-year-old claimed that pets were often a form of replacement for children.

He said: “Today we see a form of selfishness.

“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.”

He suggested that couples we can’t conceive should look at adoption.

He said: “How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them.

“It is a risk, yes: having a child is always a risk,it is riskier to deny fatherhood, or to deny motherhood, be it real or spiritual.”

The Pope made the controversial remarks while preaching about Joseph, the biblical father of Jesus.

He went on to argue that there may be something wrong about people who have chosen not to have children. 

He continued: “A man or woman who do not develop the sense of fatherhood or motherhood, they are lacking something, something fundamental, something important.”

However, the pope’s controversial comments come at a time of a steep decline in childbirth in the West.

According to UPI, the United States saw a 7 percent decline in its childbirth rate in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crude birth-rate referring to the number of births in a year dropped by 9 percent in Italy last year and 8 percent in Spain. 


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Pope Francis doesn’t have any pets in the Vatican but his predecessor, Benedict XVI had cats.

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