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

Residents in a number of Sydney suburbs were ordered to evacuate

Thousands flee their homes as flooding hits Sydney

A woman died after losing an arm and a leg in a shark attack off the coast of Hurghada, Egypt

Stretch of Red Sea coast closed after woman savaged to death by shark

Oscar Pistorius has met with the father of Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius meets victim Reeva Steenkamp's father in a bid for parole

North Korea has blamed its Covid outbreak on 'alien things' and balloons coming from South Korea.

North Korea blames Covid outbreak on 'alien things' and balloons from South

Boris Johnson said Putin does not have to give up power for there to be peace in Ukraine

Putin's made more than 30 nuke threats during Ukraine invasion, Boris tells LBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit back at western leaders for their lack of "machismo" and said it would be ‘disgusting’ to see Boris Johnson topless.

Putin mocks G7 leaders' lack of 'machismo' and says PM would look 'disgusting' topless

Ukraine has retaken Snake Island after Moscow's troops abandoned the strategic outpost in what Russia's Defence Ministry has described as a 'goodwill gesture'.

'Kaboom!' Ukraine celebrates Putin's humiliation as Russia retreats from Snake Island

President Joe Biden listens as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks

Ketanji Brown Jackson to be sworn in as US Supreme Court justice

An investigator works outside the Bataclan concert hall (Christophe Ena/PA)

Life without parole for surviving extremist who carried out Paris attacks

A shark is seen swimming across a sand bar (Phil Marcelo/AP)

Great white sharks head to Cape Cod as busy tourist season gets under way

Police outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris (Catherine Wylie/PA)

Men convicted of involvement in 2015 terror attacks in Paris

Salah Abdeslam is believed to be the only surviving member of the group that killed 130 people in the 2015 Paris attacks

Islamic State member found guilty of mass murder for 2015 Paris terror attacks

Vatican Pope Pelosi

Pro-choice Nancy Pelosi receives communion at Vatican despite home city ban

Workers clear debris at the Kremenchuk shopping centre damaged in the Russian rocket attack

Search ongoing for 20 missing after Russian strike on Ukraine shopping centre

People attend a community vigil for the dozens of people found dead in a trailer in San Antonio

‘Difficult process’ identifying Texas lorry trailer death victims – authorities

World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

US abortion ruling ‘a setback’ that will cost lives, says WHO chief