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.”
- 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.
- “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.”