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Pope Francis delivered a message to married couples a few days ago that isn’t quite sitting well with those of us that have opted to raise pets and not children:
From Vatican Radio:
“These marriages, in which the spouses do not want children, in which the spouses want to remain without fertility. This culture of well-being from ten years ago convinced us: ‘It’s better not to have children! It’s better! You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be care-free…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 is this not? Have you seen it? Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness. It is not fruitful, it does not do what Jesus does with his Church: He makes His Church fruitful.”
In other words, the Pope says couples should give their love to children, not to pets instead, that any efforts spent raising and caring for pets would better be spent on children.
What’s your reaction?
To be honest, I don’t think relentless reproduction is a wise decision for mankind. Although social pressures of having children are a strong force, and a natural desire present in many people to, let’s just say “Enjoy the very close company of another with reckless abandon”, there’s a occupation limit on our little blue marble and it cannot be ignored.
There are over seven billion humans on this planet, a number that rises constantly. I find fears about fertility rates utterly laughable, a complete disregard of the much more menacing threat of starvation, sickness, and thirst. Not to mention subsequent violence to procure resources that could not support a much larger human population. If I may paint an image using a metaphor, it should progress as such:
Imagine a fenced off area, say the overall size of a city park. Make it fenced in on all sides, preventing any creatures from entering. This area is populated by rabbits, enough to provide a reasonable amount of genetic diversity. This area has more than enough edible plants, and a clean pond that could easily quench the thirst of the animals. Now, being rabbits, these creatures will more or less create a Fibonacci sequence, reproducing at increasing rates. Plants replenish themselves through the seeds the rabbits spread through the area, and occasionally rain falls. The rabbits continue to thrive, only dying of old age, perhaps of sickness, now and then from infighting. The plants become more scarce, more space is taken up by increasing burrows, rabbit fecal matter becomes nigh avoidable, and the pond is becoming smaller. But the rabbits continue to make more of themselves, despite less room and food for all. Eventually, plants are a rarity, water is mythology, and rabbits are a dime a dozen. There is no room to move, everyone is standing in their own waste or perhaps atop the dead, starvation and disease run rampant. The rabbits die off quickly now, but do not replenish themselves. Soon the fenced off area is full of dead rabbits. This is a natural, logical consequence of overpopulation. This is why “thinning out the herd” had a chance to become an idiom. That fenced in area is our entire planet.
The standard of everyone having kids doesn’t work if people aren’t dying at a similar rate. Owning a dog or cat doesn’t exactly play into this scenario. Cats and dogs use very little resources, in all reality. Most pet food is made from things “Not meant for human consumption” and is hardly kept to the standards put into products for people. It’s kind of like saying “You shouldn’t feed this chicken eyeball to the cat. Save it for the children. And that pig’s ear? How wasteful! Give it to that baby, not the dog.”. Not to mention that there are several families that not only have children and pets, but didn’t bring in the pets until the long after the children were born. I was born into a house sans animal companions. I didn’t receive my beloved cat until I was seven, and she was given to me as a present. Like a material possession.
I’m single and logically, unmarried. I have no reason to desire children now. When I was young, my sentiments were the same, and while the other girls cheerfully proclaimed of their goals of future motherhood, I couldn’t agree with them at all. The idea was repulsive. My infant half sister required almost all of my soon to be late mother’s attention. Her cries were grating. She chewed on my things. The addition of a third child was also trying on my mother’s part, as she was rather short with me near the end, chastising me for crying after feeling neglected by her. Babies were harbingers of misfortune. After my mother died, I didn’t see much of the baby, her father took her in. I’d only be bothered by this fact in retrospect, as I was too busy being a grieving kindergartner at the time.
Today, babies hold an even greater ability to cause me anxiety. The cries do not awaken latent maternal instincts, instead they create momentary irritation, followed by the fear that my next move will be disastrous for all parties involved. My reaction to a crying infant would be similar to one’s reaction to the weeping offspring of an extraterrestrial, looking around for suggestions on how to rectify the situation without getting myself damaged. I dread having to hold them, as they seemed to be designed to be as fragile as possible. The “Soft Spot” is a zone of horror. If told to hold one, I’m as still as The Thinker, wearing the expression of the newest member of a bomb squad after being told to hold about four pounds of C-4. I cannot even offer a reason why I’d subject myself to this sort of stress uninterrupted for years, followed by arguments, destruction, disrespect, heartbreak and all sorts of dramatic events I cannot foresee. The joys of parenting aren’t ones I can enjoy myself, just as some people do not enjoy Homestuck, Anime, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic or Final Fantasy X.
I enjoy the companionship of my cat. My cat is an animal. Being a member of Homo Sapiens, I am also included in that category. Being a cat, she cannot understand why I would be crying at any given time, nor does she try to comfort me. She takes the opportunity to allow me to give her attention. She gets to be pet, what do I get? Peace of mind. Preforming acts of kindness is a great mood lifter, stoking a silky cat is soothing. I get the cat catnip for Christmas when the budget allows for it. I indulge her in games of fetch because it’s fun for both of us.
Many points have been made referencing the Pope’s lack of experience when it comes to marriage or children, as a man of the cloth of that caliber, he has taken a vow of celibacy, as he cannot marry and his faith bars for relations outside of it. So he’ll never produce offspring of his own. Others have mentioned that he has taken the name of the Patron Saint of Animals.
His comments were more to condemn those who live their lives without feeling the need to procreate. He mentions those people enjoying a large part of their lives, but ending up bitter and alone. My grandfather is far from alone. He’s a widower, and his daughter had shuffled off her mortal coil long ago. And even without me and my older brother visiting him, he’d be far from alone. He holds an officer’s position in Toastmasters, and his social life is more active than my own. Although my mother was adopted, raising her has no bearing on how he’ll greet death, since she won’t be there for it. In fact, bringing her in caused him to suffer outliving her, and having my half sister leave his and my grandmother’s life forever. He and grandma had to suffer the stress of my brother nearly getting killed in a bus accident. He had to deal with my mother’s biological parents, both deplorable people I want nothing to do with. He was happy to bring her in, overjoyed to meet his grandchildren.
When he and grandma decided to take care of mom, nobody told them that medical complications would take her life long before theirs. Nobody told them that one of their grandchildren would be taken. They took in mom because they felt that it was right. They were already older people by the time they first met her, people too old to have others complaining that they should have children. They never ended up being “Fruitful” as it is defined by biblical standards.
Grandma died with Grandpa next to her. Not me, not my brother, not my half sister. And obviously not her own daughter. She had raised a child, but passed away with her high school sweetheart by her side. If she hadn’t brought my mother into the picture, the situation would be the same. She wasn’t alone, or bitter when she died.
I know somebody who is going to have a child. They’ve discovered that the child will come into the world with horrifying defects. By that I mean that all of the infant’s internal organs will be on the wrong side of its body. This person plans to have the child, then put it up for adoption. They’ve recently divorced, but not remarried. They are living with a boyfriend and his children along with her own during her time with them. This is not a situation wherein a couple decides they want another child. I admit, I myself was an “Oopsie”, but my parents only had one kid, my brother, at the time. They also had jobs, a house, no unusual financial stress, etc, etc. This tells me that these people did something completely irresponsible, knowing that they’re already in over their heads with everything else, and are now going to drop the consequences on someone else because it isn’t convenient.
If I need to look for a new place, it must allow pets. My cat is over ten years old, I do not wish to part with her, and I’m not going to make someone else take care of her. I dare say I’m putting more thought into the living creatures under my care than those previously mentioned people are, and I don’t think I’m really being unreasonable about it.
Not everyone can handle parenthood, or should be parents. On the other hand, some people would make wonderful parents, but can’t, and it causes them sadness. And adoption isn’t as easy as they make it look in those lifetime movies. It could take months, and you can be rejected for reasons that I feel are ridiculous. Nobody screens people trying to make children of their own though.
I find it kinda weird that we don’t have more stories like that of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Her parents are bad people, and she leaves them and finds a better home. Adoptive parents get less spotlight, and to me, seem to be more likely to play the role of antagonist.
I think someone taking good care of a Labrador Retriever is a better person than someone taking poor care of a Toddler. Maybe it’s just me. I dunno. For me, my argument straddles the line between “Logos” and “Ethos”. I dislike using “Pathos”.
And that’s my take on this. I do not mind if you thought this was “Too long” and you “Didn’t read”. Stating these facts in another comment seems like a waste of time, and I don’t find it hurtful at all. Actually, it feeds my ego, telling me that I provided too much information for you to handle, suggesting that I stand higher than you on the universal totem pole of collective intelligence, as well as that I have much to say.
So, long comment is long, and you are wonderful. Have a good day!
(NLT) You see, if you are a Christian, God has called you to do His work.
Feel free to adjust it to your class or congregation. While
dogs do demonstrate how we should love God, cats demonstrate to us how God
This guy should READ HIS BIBLE eccliesiastes clearly states that if a man believes humans are greater than animals he “fools himself” for both contain the breath of god, and “all else is vanity”. Proving ppl who are totally without life experience are in no way fit to be in positions of power. How DAMN selfish! You DONT create a child just so it will keep you when youre old! Thats not a kid its a mini-me and bloody creepy!
2 / 3 native British married couples opt for furkids. The others make monumental mistakes. Dont come to the UK after this frank. St Francis would be mortified. How many weak minded ppl will dump their furkids at kill shelters because of this idiotic statement? Its like them condemning Halloween years ago, they got everything they knew about it from wikipedia! Not the faintest clue what they were talking about or what previous popes had said!
Your “fur kid” will never cure cancer, improve society, or come up with a solution to violent crime, etc.. It will give YOU comfort I agree. Those who fear their human kid could be a thief, mugger or next mass murder must live a mediocre life. The fact you recognize the potential for that outcome puts you in the best position for parenthood. Better you than the welfare baby factories. Put your love and faith in raising kids, so what it takes 25 years to potty train them. After that they become faithful friends and are a lot more fun going on a walk with because now they may help pick up your mess.
You really want to do some research before mouthing off. It was ANIMALS that alerted a medicine man to bloodroot, aka sanguinaria canadensis, the greatest hope for a cancer cure. Not improve society? What about the THOUSANDS of healing therapy pets, guide dogs, not to mention the poor sods pushed on the front line to protect “man” from “man” in their bloody stupid wars. What a moron.
I don’t think that what he is saying can simply be diluted into we should give our love to children not dogs or other pets. I think the message he is trying to give is that we now live in a society were the mentality of getting married and having children or for the purpose of procreating is fading away. Many people get married and do not intend to have children because they figure that having children will prevent them from having a life of leisure and that perhaps in the end (when they come to old age) they might regret that choice because their life might seem empty. We must remember that as radical as this pope has been with prior statements he is still pretty old school and that the bible sees marriage and procreation as going hand in hand. While in today’s society overpopulation is a problem, this wasn’t the case when the bible was written.
If he actually did read the word of God he would have never made such a ignorant comment. Jesus clearly stated regarding these last days we are living in that we would be seeing an increase of crime, of ungodly people, etc. and because of this he said in Mathew 24:19 “Woe to the pregnant women and those nursing a babyin those days!” He didnt mean that we shouldn’t have children,what he meant was that times would be very hard, just like we see now days, example, todays shooting and all the horrible things we see every day on the news. If Jesus was aware of this and since he loves us very much, he wouldnt want us to suffer either by bringing children into this wicked world, so that they too can suffer. This man that calls himself follower of Jesus needs to open up his dusted bible and he would not make such comments. He would see that we are living in the last days described by Jesus as very difficult times and that bringing more children to suffer in this world we live in would be an act of being selfish……. excuse my grammar, im use to spanish.
Has he met the kids of today? Spoiled disrespectful brats they are. Only concerned about themselves and their phones. Watch the movie Hatchi and that is true love. Show me one kid that would be that loyal. I have two dogs that are my kids. I only wish they could live as long as human kids. Dogs will always be a part of life. I actually feel sorry for parents today.
Rhonda, I couldn’t agree with you more !!! I was never able to have kids, but i really did want them ! Without my dog, life would NOT be worth living !! Just where does he get off telling people they should have kids instead of pets anyhow ??? It’s a personal decision, and has nothing to do with religion !!!
Well Mr. Pope, tell us, how many children have YOU raised.
I don’t really like children. Sorry. Needless to say, I wish them no ill, but they’ve never appealed to me. I love my dogs. Always have. In retrospect, this is probably just another reason I gave up being Catholic years ago and am now Presbyterian. Sorry, Popester.
This guy doesnt realize KIDS DONT GROW UP AND LOOK AFTER THEIR PARENTS THESE DAYS ANYWAY! If he thinks that he is WAY out of the loop! They just dump em in homes anyway! Spend your cash on yourself and your furkids, as the bible says whats the point of working all your life to accumulate wealth only for the next generation to inherit it?! You cant enjoy it yourself and you might hate your kids!
And if parents raised their kids correctly to be self sufficient, then they don’t need the parents money left to them. I’ve told my Mom to enjoy her retirement and spend what she has worked so hard for. I can make my own money. And if I am too lazy to work (which I am not) then I don’t deserve it. Don’t get me started on the “Uncle Sam is not your daddy, work for it” people. Some people have kids just to get more money. There are those who know how to work the system and they do. And when you think about it, all money really is is dirty paper. Most of it today is created by digits. It’s a sad sad world, why on earth would I want to bring a child into it. When I get to Heaven, I am going to ask the Lord for my dogs. Heaven has horses so I hope all dogs go to Heaven, too.
Of course there are dogs 🙂 all animals existed before humans, theyll all be there long after most humans have landed in hell. They never fell remember 🙂
As for self sufficent kids, I agree, totally, but as one whose parents them them nothing but thousands of their debt and trouble that respect works both ways!
Im ashamed of most of the MORONIC comments that come flying out of the Vatican. This coming not only from ppl who have chosen to live their whole life alone, on the back of others donating to the church, never working either, is bad enough, but from a supposed FRANCISCAN ! Its like gobbing in st francis face. I wouldnt be seen dead with a human brat. Could turn out to be anything, the next mugger, thief, murderer, nobody knows what they are getting with human kids. Could be the next jimmy saville, or paedo priest. EVERY dog is a DIAMOND! All animals are. Its a question of taste. Ppl that have human kids over furkids obviously dont have any. Or any sense either. In the UK 2 out of 3 married couples who are native brits choose animals. So sod what he says.
Paul Simeon+Ronnie Simeonsays:
Why do people give so much creedence to what this MAN says? He is not infallible, he is not Jesus (or God), and his words are just HIS opinion. Who cares what his opinion is. The Word of God is the will of God. Isn’t it best for those of us who feel we wouldn’t be great parents to not make the mistake of bringing children into the world and destroying them by raising them incorrectly? Not everyone is equipped to be a parent. He chose not to be one!!
It astonishes me how many people read this and can’t figure out what he is saying. He is saying that it’s fine to own pets, but the couples who CHOOSE to not have kids so that they can have a more fun and adventurous lives should reconsider their idea of just having pets since they take less responsibility than children. He is saying that when the couple becomes older they will realize their mistake and will be lonely in the sense they don’t have their children and grandchildren running around. He is not saying if you own a pet that you are a horrible person. People need to learn to read the article before talking a bunch of crap.
Thanks Rusty! 🙂
Oh we read it, but hes nuts if he thinks kids will grow up and look after their PARENTS or even just stick around. They be straight in an old folks home, house sold, their gorgeous furkids dumped on the poor cinnamon trust, and thats it. Then theyd move abroad and have the life you shouldve been having – with YOUR money!
you crack me up, but you didn’t rile me up! lol
I have a grown child who is the love of my life, but I also have 2 dogs that love me as much as I love them. In these times of war, poverty, drug abuse, alcoholism, rape, murder, child abuse, human trafficking, honor killings, starvation… Why would anyone want to procreate and raise an innocent child in this world? I have a brother and sister in-law who would be the best parents in the world, but God did not bless them with healthy fertility. This Pope should stick to whatever it is they do best.
What about the fact that some people are not cut out for parenting? Huh what about that? There are plenty of abusive and neglectful people out there that dont belong being parent’s!! Further more there are mentally and physically handicapped people! But most would thrive better with a pet!!! His statements are total hog wash!!! PEOPLE who have both pets and children ,dont put pets before their kids! So ridiculous!This crap is exactly why people DO NEGLECT OR ABUSE THEIR PETS…..THIS WAY OF THINKING , THAT IS!!!
Priests don’t marry, so what is he talking about??
WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH! EACH TO HIS OWN! GIVE ME DOGS OVER (MOST) PEOPLE ANY DAY.
I’m with u on that!!! 🙂
I have had kids four sons as close together as my youth and Catholic background
taught. They’re grown now, and 2 never married? only one grandson. I now love and enjoy three dogs. Did have 4 but the biggest passed away. I am a widow now and my “furbabies” have brought me comfort and pleasure. They never ask for money or for me to take them somewhere. Never complain about what I cook or what I feed them. They never play loud! music, or eat everything in the fridge w/o asking me. Never use up my heygine prducts and leave the empty shampoo bottle behind. They never fight with one another, and I never have to hear them yelling at each other. My nerves are steady now with 400 miles of “buffer zone” between us. I take care of myself so they will never ever end up in a shelter or God forbid, THE POUND. God made humans and HE saw how lonely & helpless they were so HE made a dog! Thank You GOD! for your precious gift of dogs Amen!
You are right, that is what he is saying. However the Pope is not taking into account people that choose to remain childless not because they want their freedom but because they are not parent material, I overcame a abusive childhood and I dont want history to repeat itself so I am childless by choice. Also there is no guarantee that once adults the children will even be in the same State or Country much less take care of you. Love is love and we have the example of Saint Francis to show us that you can also love animals.
And thank YOU Peggy Rose for your wise arguments!
So those of us who could not, medically, have children, and could never afford 5 digit thousands to adopt, or were not even able to adopt through local social services, we are just selfish? It is time for this RC idea to evolve.
I can’t have children and I had a dog for 14years and she was my child. I like Pope till this, God said love everyone that includes the animals he made. I am so mad I can’t think.
Don’t take this out of context. Dogs are not children. He is not saying couples can’t have and love their animals. He is saying that having only animals is basically selfish and does not fill your life with the fruit of and continuation of your love relationship and a loving new generation of people.
Well he’s still wrong, if that’s even what he meant. How is sharing your life with another being selfish? Ask anyone who works with rescues how selfish they are and how little joy is brought to their lives. But you gave your true opinion of animals straight away by saying we own them. Those of us who truly care about the other beings we share this world with don’t consider it ownership and we bring each other joy and fulfillment til the end of our days.
John, I have rescued many animals, including the 3 dogs and 2 cats I have now. Yes, I own them…….I pay the bills, buy the food, take them to the vet. They are not capable of decision making. And the Pope is preaching from his heart and what the church teaches. That’s his JOB
Actually its not. The church SHOULD be teaching ppl to love ALL children equally. Furkids esp. Remember the guy with the lamb he loved like a son in the bible? Furkids are the only real children. Unconditional love. This pope thinks we are all living on waltons mountain and cranny and grandad will be looked after. At least with furkids they WONT be lonely, when human kids dump them on the state and sell their house to live a life abroad, how lonely will they be then? Totally naive and will probably get a wicked backlash from the UK where you couldnt give kids away with a free box of chocs. Nobody wants them. They are totally out of control. Its so weird that only ppl without kids think theyre angelic, I wonder why? lol
Then he has never had a PROPER child. Only animals are proper children. Humans are inherently selfish and will do anything to save themselves. Yet another person in power talking out of their hat, with no experience whatsoever.