Lifestyle

Pope Francis labels people who have pets and not children "selfish"

Pope Francis has made headlines globally by hitting out at couples who choose to have pets instead of children, labelling them "selfish."

Speaking to a general audience at The Vatican on Wednesday, the Pontiff declared that  the decision to forgo parenthood leads to a loss of "humanity" and is a detriment to civilisation.

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The comments came about while Francis was giving a talk on Joseph's decision to be an earthly father to Jesus, when he veered into the topic of adoption and orphaned children. He went on to discuss couples that opt for animals instead of children.
"We see that people do not want to have children, or just one and no more. And many, many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one -- but they have two dogs, two cats ... Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children," the Pope said.
And this denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity. And in this way civilization becomes aged and without humanity, because it loses the richness of fatherhood and motherhood. And our homeland suffers, as it does not have children.
Pope Francis added that couples who cannot biologically have children should consider adoption.
"How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them,"  he 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."
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