The Pope has blasted couples who have pets instead of children, calling not wanting to have a child a “form of selfishness”.
Fur babies do not have his blessing.
Pope Francis, 85, had some choice words for the childless at the Vatican on Wednesday.
In remarks to a general audience, the Catholic Church head called out couples who have chosen not to have children and opted to have pets instead, the New York Post reports.
“Today we see a form of selfishness,” the Pope said, according to Fox News.
“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 who can’t bear children should look into adoption — the cost of which can tally up to $70,000, according to Child Welfare Information Gateway.
“How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them,” the Pope went on.
“It is a risk, yes: having a child is always a risk, either naturally or by adoption,” the Argentina-born leader said. “But it is riskier not to have them. It is riskier to deny fatherhood, or to deny motherhood, be it real or spiritual.”
The pope’s controversial comments come at a time of a steep decline in population in the West. According to UPI, the United States saw a 7 per cent decline in its childbirth rate in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crude birthrate in Italy dropped by 9 per cent last year and Spain saw an 8 per cent decline. Crude birthrate refers to the number of births that occur during the year.
While Pope Francis doesn’t have any dogs or cats at his Vatican home, his predecessor, Benedict XVI, housed felines as pets.
Pope Francis appears to be thinking a lot about parenthood in 2022. In his earlier New Year’s Day sermon, he called for an end to violence against women for the sake of motherhood.
“How much violence is directed against women! Enough! To hurt a woman is to insult God, who from a woman took on our humanity, not through an angel, not directly, but through a woman,” the Pope said earlier this week.
“And since mothers bestow life, and women keep the world (together), let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women,” he said.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission