Pope Francis is criticizing couples who choose to have pets instead of children saying the trend leads to “a loss of humanity” and is a detriment to civilization.
“We see that some people do not want to have a child,” Pope Francis said. “Sometimes they have one, and that’s it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of children. This may make people laugh, but it is a reality”.
The Pope made the comments Wednesday while speaking to a general audience about Saint Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father.
Births in Italy last year hit their lowest level since the unification of the nation in 1861, the national statistics office said this month, with the figure falling for a 12th consecutive year. Francis acknowledges that some couples may be unable to have children for biological reasons but said those families should consider adoption.
“How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them! We must not be afraid to choose the path of adoption, to take the risk of welcoming children,” he said.
The Pope has made similar remarks before and it is believed he does not have a pet of his own, however, he has been photographed petting animals.