Pope under fire after calling people “selfish” to have pets instead of children – National
Pope Francis called couples who decide to have pets rather than children as “selfish,” while calling on people to have more children in the face of declining populations.
Addressing a general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday, he said: “Today… we see a form of selfishness. We see that some people do not want to have children. Sometimes they have one, and that’s it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of the children. It may make people laugh, but it is a reality.
The Pope argued that a couple’s decision to remain childless results in a loss of “humanity” and does not serve civilization.
“And this denial of paternity or maternity diminishes us, it takes away our humanity. And so civilization becomes old and without humanity, for it loses the richness of fatherhood and motherhood. And our homeland is suffering because it has no children, ”he continued.
His comments struck a bitter note, with many taking to social media to call out for the childless leader of the Catholic Church.
Others shared that the Pope shouldn’t have a say or an opinion about the personal choices people make for their bodies.
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In his speech, the Pope also suggested that couples who biologically cannot have children should consider adoption, and urged potential parents to “not be afraid” of having children.
“Having a child is always a risk, but there is more risk of not having a child, of denying paternity,” he said, referring to a “demographic winter” – perhaps referring reference to countries with declining birth rates.
Canada’s birth rate has been falling steadily since 2008 – a trend seen across much of the Western world.
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Since the start of the pandemic, this decline has intensified: the birth rate has fallen from 1.47 children per woman in 2019 to a record level of 1.40 children per woman in 2020.
Statistics Canada said 358,604 live births were reported nationwide in 2020, the lowest number since 2006. The drop from 2019 – 3.6% – was also the biggest drop from year to year. the other in 14 years.
Mary-Ann Murphy, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia specializing in aging and demography, told Global News last year that the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada had resulted in “the opposite of a baby boom ”.
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She said more couples are concerned about finances, job security and having a roof over their heads than growing their families.
She also said more women are dedicating what would be considered years of child-rearing to improve their jobs and livelihoods, and are not choosing to have children before their 30s.
“And when you wait that late, you’re not going to end up having a lot of kids,” she said.
This is not the first time that Pope Francis has given a speech to those who prefer pets to children.
According to the BBC, in 2014 he called the decision to have a pet, but no children, “Another form of cultural degradation”.
– with files from Ashleigh Stewart, Sean Boynton and David Lao
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