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Choosing pets over kids is selfish, Pope Francis says

Pope Francis said it’s selfish to adopt a pet instead of having children

SHARE Choosing pets over kids is selfish, Pope Francis says
Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2022.

Pope Francis rubs his eyes as he celebrates an Epiphany mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. The pope said this week that people who choose to have pets instead of children are acting selfishly.

Gregorio Borgia, Associated Press

People who choose to have pets instead of children are acting selfishly, Pope Francis said this week.

  • “Today ... we see a form of selfishness,” Francis said during a discussion on parenthood at the Vatican, per BBC 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.
  • “This may make people laugh, but it is a reality.”
  • Francis said getting a pet instead of having a child “is a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity.”

Per CNN, Francis made the comments while talking about Saint Joseph, who is believed to be Jesus’ father on Earth.

  • Francis said Joseph’s decision to raise Jesus was an act of love, one which shouldn’t be forgotten.

The comments align with the Catholic Church’s teaching that stresses the importance of couples raising children and growing their families.

Francis called on Catholic couples to consider adoption if they can’t biologically have children, according to CNN.

  • “How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them,” Francis said. “Having a child is always a risk, either naturally or by adoption. But it is riskier not to have them. It is riskier to deny fatherhood, or to deny motherhood, be it real or spiritual.”