Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Pope Francis delivers his speech during a meeting with faithful at Rome's Olympic Stadium, Sunday, June 1, 2014. Pope Francis has led a pep rally to boost faith at Rome's soccer stadium, packed with more than 50,000 Catholics who follow charismatic movements. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Pope Francis tells couples not to substitute dogs, cats for children
First Published Jun 02 2014 11:08 am • Last Updated Jun 02 2014 11:08 am

Vatican City • Pope Francis on Monday warned married couples against substituting cats and dogs for children — a move that he said leads to the "bitterness of loneliness" in old age.

The pope made his comments as he celebrated daily Mass with 15 married couples in the chapel at the Santa Marta residence, where he lives inside the Vatican.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

He reminded the couples, whose marriages ranged from 25 to 60 years, of the need for faithfulness, perseverance and fertility in maintaining a Christian marriage.

But he went a step further and strongly criticized those couples who choose not to have children, saying they had been influenced by a culture of "well-being" that says life is better without kids.

"You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be carefree," the pope said. "It might be better — more comfortable — to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or not? Have you seen it?

"Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness."

The 77-year-old pontiff made his comments after recent figures confirmed a drop in birthrates in the U.S., Italy and elsewhere.

Figures released by Italy’s official statistics agency Istat last week showed the country’s birthrate hit a record low in 2013, with the birth of 515,000 babies — a drop of 64,000 during the past five years — and a worrying trend as the population ages.

Last year, Time magazine provoked a national debate with a controversial issuetitled "The Childfree Life," which also showed a dramatic fall in the U.S. birthrate and the role of personal choice.

"Married life must be persevering, because otherwise love cannot go forward," the pope said. "Perseverance in love, in good times and in difficult times, when there are problems: problems with the children, economic problems."


story continues below
story continues below



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.