Pope says couples who choose pets over having children are 'selfish' and 'lesser'

6 January 2022, 12:29

Pope Francis says couples who choose pets over having children are 'selfish'
Pope Francis says couples who choose pets over having children are 'selfish'. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Pope Francis has branded people who chose to own pets over having children as "selfish" and "lesser".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

During a general audience at the Vatican, the head of the Catholic church criticised people who used cats and dogs as a "substitution for children".

The religious figurehead called for parents to have more children in a bit to solve the western "demographic winter" that causes our countries to "suffer".

He said: "Today we see a form of selfishness in our society. People don't want to have children, maybe they'll want one child and not more than that.

"And many couples don't have any children because they don't want any.

"But they'll have two dogs, two cats...

"Yes cats and dogs are a substitution for children. Denying fatherhood and motherhood makes us lesser."

Read more: European Court throws out 'gay cake' discrimination case

Read more: 'We can't have mob rule', Grant Shapps tells LBC after Colston Four cleared

"So our population gets older and less humane because we lose the wealth of parenthood and our country suffers."

Choosing pets over children "is a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity", he added.

The pontiff also urged couples who are biologically unable to have children to consider adoption, telling them "not to be afraid" of parenthood.

"Having a child is always a risk, but there is more risk in not having a child."

He also referenced Joseph as an example of an adoptive father, because Jesus was the son of God born to his mother Mary.

His latests controversial comments come after he previously branded the practice "cultural degradation" back in 2014, stating emotional relationships with pets are "easier" than the "complex" relationship between parents and their children.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Afghanistan women's protest

Woman activist arrested by Taliban in raid on her home in Kabul

Antony Blinken

US warns of ‘swift, severe’ response if Russia invades Ukraine

Scene of Liberia stampede

At least 29 people die in stampede at religious festival in Liberia

Novak Djokovic is reportedly preparing to sue the Australian government.

Novak Djokovic 'to sue Australian government for £3m' over deportation

Boris Johnson warned Putin over invading Ukraine

'We stand squarely behind Ukraine' in Russia stand-off, Boris Johnson warns Putin

Antony Blinken and Annalena Baerbock

US and European diplomats meet in Berlin to discuss Ukraine situation

Former Pope Benedict failed to act on child sexual abuse

Pope Benedict 'failed to act' in four child sexual abuse cases, report finds

Audio footage has been obtained from the final conversation between the Texas synagogue attacker Malik Akram and his younger brother Gulbar, who urged his sibling to surrender.

'Think about your kids': Brother's desperate phone call with Texas synagogue attacker

Russian Sukhoi 30 jet

Russia accuses the West of ‘plotting provocations’ over Ukraine

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Former Pope Benedict criticised over handling of sexual abuse claims

Tina Turner at Wembley

Tina Turner and husband buy £56m estate on shore of Lake Zurich

Anders Breivik

Anders Breivik ‘still dangerous’ and should not be released, court told

An Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates resumes flights to US airports as fears over 5G rollout are eased

Lisala Folau, inset, and the devastation caused by Saturday's tsunami

Miracle story of disabled Tongan man who survived in sea for 28 hours after tsunami

Germany Kruger Obit

Star of war films Hardy Kruger dies aged 93

Royal visit to New Zealand – Day Six

New Zealand PM warns Omicron outbreak is inevitable