Pope Francis attacked people who choose to have pets instead of children as having “a certain selfishness,” even as his church blocks same-sex couples from becoming parents.
Speaking at the Vatican this week, the Pope said that it “is a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity” to choose a dog or a cat over a human baby.
“Civilization grows old without humanity because we lose the richness of fatherhood and motherhood, and it is the country that suffers,” he continued.
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“Today, we see a form of selfishness. We see that some people do not want to have a child,” he said. “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,” he continued. He even brought up straight couples who cannot have biological children and suggested adoption.
“Having a child is always a risk, but there is more risk in not having a child, in denying paternity.”
While the leader of the Catholic Church is telling people to have or adopt children, Catholic organizations are working to deny a chance at parenthood to same-sex couples.
Just last year, the Supreme Court sided with a Catholic adoption agency – Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia – that wanted to refuse same-sex couples as potential parents and keep their contract with the city of Philadelphia, arguing that their religious beliefs require them to prevent some people from becoming parents.
The Pope is not known to have any children himself.