Pope Francis and a dog
Pope Francis recently said that couples who adopt pets instead of children are selfish.

Are couples that adopt pets instead of children selfish? Pope Francis says yes.

The comments came during a general audience at the Vatican. Pope Francis pointed out that in many western countries, deaths exceed births – what experts call a demographic winter.

The issue, the pope says, is that couples are having either one child or no children, and are filling the kid-sized hole in their hearts with dogs and cats instead.

He continued, arguing that pet adopters are selfish, and that childfree couples will ultimately be “lacking something, something fundamental, something important” without children.

Pet Adoption: Selfish?

"Today… we see a form of selfishness," Pope Francis said. "We see that some people do not want to have a child. Sometimes they have one, and that’s it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of children."

Even those unable to have children themselves are not off the hook for parenthood. “We should not be afraid to choose the path of adoption, to take the “risk” of welcoming children,” the high pontiff stated. “It is a risk, yes: having a child is always a risk, either naturally or by adoption. But it is riskier not to have them. It is riskier to deny fatherhood, or to deny motherhood, be it real or spiritual.”

Francis seemingly argued that couples choosing pets over children are making the world a worse place. “This denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity,” he said. 

Pope Francis pointed to Joseph, the “foster father of Jesus,” to underline his point. Joseph adopted Jesus into his life; showing “the highest forms of love” in the process.

“How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them?” he pondered.

Is the Pope Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

Social media lit up upon hearing that Pope Francis was chastising young people for adopting dogs and cats instead of children.

Many pointed out stagnant wages, rising home prices, and climate change as reasons why younger generations might stick with their furry friends instead.

Others were quick to point out that the Catholic Church in many cases actively fights against allowing parenthood for LGBTQ couples. Just last year, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia fought a case all the way to the Supreme Court over their church-operated foster care agency’s discriminatory practice of refusing adoption to married same-sex couples. The church ultimately won that case in a unanimous judgment.

The logic would follow, some argued, that in the church’s eyes, same-sex marriages are more harmful to society than the scores of unadopted foster children. If the pope wants children to be adopted by loving parents, shouldn’t they be in favor of LGBTQ couples adopting?

What do you think of the controversial comments? Is the pope right that couples that adopt pets instead of kids are acting selfishly? Or, with the current state of the world, can you really not blame young people for choosing pets over kids?

What are your thoughts?

35 comments

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    THE POPE SHOULD OFFER to PAY for FOOD,CLOTHING, SCHOOLING any and all NEEDS before HE OPENS HIS MOUTH !

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Having more pets than children hasn't stopped the world from being over populated. There are too many people in this world already. And what good are they doing? What do we need them for. Why must they even choose this planet to be born on? I t could be too that a lot of people are coming back as puppies and kittens, many in the same families where they were once people. There are a lot of people who resemble dogs, dirty rats, and other critters. And maybe they were. I think the Pope and those other pedophile priests just want more altar boys to choose from.

  1. china mayhew's Avatar china mayhew

    i was adopted by 2 "good" catholics, there was only one problem, neither of them should have been allowed near children. with dogs they were great around but then you don't have to raise an animal to be a functioning and hopefully happy adult. if you are adopting animals rather than children well maybe you know something like you'd make a better parent to a fur baby than a child. it's a whole different dynamic. or maybe they're like me i didn't have or adopt children because i had little to no examples of good parenting.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      I never had or adopted children simply because I don't like children, and value my freedom. Those little parasites get on my nerves. And even though I've fallen in love with m9re than enough women to be considered fickle, and even asked one to marry me 27 times in fifteen years, and another one 22 times, I'm still a bachelor, and usually think I'm better off being one. I'll be 59 next month, so now it's safe to use the excuse that I'm too old to start a family, and raise children. And what a relief it is. I can't swear that I never fathered a child, but have for (and keep doing) a good job of avoiding my exes, who all live in the great nation of Texas. And I don't even have any pets! Cats and dogs make good tamales. Phone calls, E-mail, text messages, and this blog are all the company I need (plus up to three minutes chats with my neighbors, when we walk across the parking lot to throw the trash. I helps to have an introverted personality, especially during this pandemic, which will probably last for the rest of our lives.

      1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

        Carl if the above post is remotely true, you need to be in a padded cell wearinga straight jacket and dosed to the eyeballs on anti psychotics.

  1. Katelynne Shouse's Avatar Katelynne Shouse

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....as if his opinion means 💩

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    Catholic clergy are selfish for having pets and not children.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      Don't they have pet children?

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Is this so there are more kids for the pedophile priests to molest?
    How many kids has pope pope fathered? The pope sure wants to use women's bodies.

  1. Kurt Neuleuf's Avatar Kurt Neuleuf

    Forget the title of "pope", it is only a title like any of ours, bestowed by cardinals who had their titles bestowed by ........Would you take direction and orders from a senile old man with little lived life experience? If you do then you deserve each other.

  1. Val Jester's Avatar Val Jester

    I have done both.

  1. Val Jester's Avatar Val Jester

    I have done both.

  1. The Gray Minister 's Avatar The Gray Minister

    I think the Pope is out of his mind

    I wont have kids or adopt One my past record of a mental illness even though im good now wont allow me to adopt

    Two I dont have a good job I dont have a house I dont have money for good schooling and with how days are today unless you have money your not getting it. My parents had low money and i ended up having very poor schooling and now am tring to finish it now being 44 and then tring to find a good job that will allow me to have a good future with them is not a good out look because business dont pay like they did 20 yrs ago. I had a job about 6 months ago I did great work Went above and beyond I did other peoples work Then was told at $15 an hr i would be capped and never make anymore then $15 for the rest of the time I worked there. So if i worked another 20 yrs i would still only make $15 an hr and only get 32 hrs a week for full time So makes me wonder how many companies do this I mean if I like the position im in why would I want to take another position that I wont like and only make a few more dollars and then be capped again. I have mental problems i work but cant handle things like i use to.& back in the day they didnt put caps on pay. You got a raise every yr. Way should there be a cap if your a good worker? and why would I move up if i love my job? And to me that an unstable income for me in the future for me to have a plan for my children

    And

    LGBTQ should be able to adopt Religious people get in the way saying its a sin

    For one Jesus died for sin so let us sin we know what sins are deadly Two Were not Hebrew

    I dont care what you read If you believe in Jesus do not read the book Old Testament Only read the New Testament

    And For another Jesus excepted everyone

    I mean gosh he told the Devil to get behind him Like follow me

    He didnt get kick out of the bar

    He didnt say dont except Those people because their not Jewish

    So he would except GLBTQ how ever that goes

    We are people We are DNA We are all one i dont care what skin you are How you want to be with We are humans and we shouldnt have these things against us

    This world is not in a good place Why would i want to bring a kid into this world And They wont let me adopt And We have free will If we dont want to adopt kids and animals then thats that And If they are young Then maybe their building a future so to have a child in a good up bringing and not a struggling up bringing

    He selfish to think he has the right to say anything And If one person already has a child Why do they have to have another And With me My a great person but to have a child in time like these and all my up bringing i would be a terrible father because now a days you cant raise a child the way need to be brought up To Many snow flakes out there

    Oh my gosh Sorry for the rant And also if i had a boy i keep that guy the hell away from him Im going to hell Lol

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    We get this from a man who CAN adopt, but does not? I guess its sort of like do as I say and not as I do.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      And the Pope has altar boys instead of pets!

  1. Frank E. Taylor's Avatar Frank E. Taylor

    Once again proving that the pope is far astray from the teachings of the ONE ,TRUE, LORD, YESHUA!!! I am SO glad I escaped from that religious cult many years ago.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Well, sadly, it looks as though you have jumped from one cult right into another Frank, as there is still no testable evidence that any god is real, so your claim of one true lord, whatever that really means, has to be verifiable with sufficient testable data that no one can deny it. So far, no one has done that, hence the number of religions in this world of ours all relying on faith, because that’s all religions have. No amount of faith makes anything fact.

      🦁❤️

      1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

        "No amount of faith makes anything fact". So, then, why do you keep insisting that your faith in "a mindless universe running itself" makes that "fact"?!! I have asked you repeatedly to send me your evidence for that in a peer reviewed paper and you haven't sent it to me, along with your example of a driverless car driving itself across country and getting its own gas and oil and changing its own tires. We don't base our belief in a God behind the universe and its laws on faith, but on the scientific logic and evidence of a mindless universe's being utterly incapable of driving or regulating itself! When even a car without a driver can't drive itself around, the far bigger and more complex mindless universe can drive and regulate itself incalculably less!! So, again, where is your evidence that the mindless universe is running itself, which should be child's play for you to come up with and send to me, if the universe works the way that you say that it does?!! So, what's the hold-up with sending me that evidence?!! Put up or shut up and then admit that you are WRONG!!! and I'm RIGHT!!!

  1. David Roth's Avatar David Roth

    Apparently he forgot to read Genesis. God put all creatures under the dominion of man. Animals were also made before man too. Adam also named all the animals as well. Children were not created until after the Fall of Man ( and Woman). Guess what else, God destroyed all breathing animals minus the clean and unclean animals (for sacrifice) and pairs (Male and Female) of all animals and birds, Noah and his wife, his sons and their wives in the Arc. So apparently animals are important too. They all have their role in life on Earth!

  1. flugo's Avatar flugo

    'the greying monster': 'Jesus excepted (accepted?) everyone' your say. Totally false!

    When He cleared the merchandizers out the temple with a whip. Acceptance?
    When He called the preachers of the day 'vipers'. Acceptance? When labeled the religious leader 'hypocrites'. Acceptance?

    You'd do well to do your homework before cluttering up this site with disjointed, erroneous blather!

  1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

    My wife and I decided to not have human children. We were both in dangerous, military jobs. It would have been unfair to human children to bring them in, to that situation.

    Then again, schtuph like this caused me to leave the Roman Catholic Church in March 1985.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      You now have piqued my interest. Did you by any chance have any other type of children? Just asking for a human friend of mine.

      🦁♥️

      1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

        We have had cats all along. Current 3 are rescues. Cooper is a big British Blue lookalike (18 Lbs.). His brother Buff is a fairly big Ginger (15 lbs.). They were 7 at the end of last May. Their little sister, Phoenix, is a long haired calico. He was 4 last August. 9 (including these 3) of the 13 we've had, rescue breed. The other 4 were pairs of sister from "accidental" litters, that friends cats had.

        They are not a substitute for human children, but do fill part of the human need to love and care for others in your life.

        We do have nieces and nephews, who have become adults who we see as good hearted and contributing members of their communities. 3 nieces and 1 nephew have their own children. One niece told hers to look at my Mrs. and me as a 3rd set of grandparents.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          I thought that might be the case. How wonderful! We have had a ferrel cat adopt us. It showed up one day on our covered patio peering in through the glass sliding door, and whenever we turned our heads to see what it was, it bolted. Long story short, it took 9 months to get it to accept us, and it now sleeps at the foot of our bed, and typical of cats, it won us over, and now owns the house. 🐈

          🦁♥️

          1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

            1 of our kitties was a "House feral" rescued from the street and kept for 10 years by her previous people. They lost their house to foreclosure. When I heard her story from my Mrs. who is a friend of the rescuer's sister, told her we could work with kitty.

            Miss Teia became a loving, trusting lap cat. We gave her another 9 1/2 years.

    2. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

      Sorry, that was March of 1975.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Pope Francis you shouldn't be in The Vatican with remarks like that.This makes me angry a lot of couples out mainly for medical reasons can not conceive. My wife being one of the less unfortunate ones.So even though I'm a Minister in the UK Shut your mouth and rthuink before you open it again Minister Nicholas Page

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    The pope is either psychotic or under the evil control of his subordinates who are amoral. What else is new? Talk about an anti-Christian corrupt institution, the Church is.it.

  1. Angela Reed Fox's Avatar Angela Reed Fox

    According to the pope's criteria then Mary, the mother of Jesus was selfish because catholic dogma states remained a virgin after Jesus' birth and didn't have any other children (the Bible begs to differ, however).

  1. Katherine Mary Moss's Avatar Katherine Mary Moss

    it's for reasons... that, right there is why I left Catholicism.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    With human population still increasing by about 80,000,000 every year; and human population growth still the leading cause of global overheating (and, consequently a looming peril to mankind’s future) that the UN has not yet classified the Pope (and the politicians he leads around by the nose) “Public Enemy # 1” — is nauseating.

    And, that the GOP collectively, has now merged with evangelistic White Nationalist Protestants: who’ve now agreed with the Pope, that any use of birth control is still a mortal sin (the type of silly sin, that results in any user of birth control spending whatever’s left of eternity, in a torturous fiery Hell) is so ding back crazy, that the current English language lacks a powerful enough word for it.

    MAGA-A’ers, who now fully support the Pope, in trying to force more white Christian Nationalist females, to have more kids than they (or the Earth) can possibly raise properly, suggests that anyone who now opposes the use of birth control (and, by coercive methods as necessary) are collectively out of their minds.

    The Earth too has a disease, and that disease is man (exemplified by the Pope, who should be, public enemy number one. Thanks to Nietzsche, for the opening quote. .

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    flugo: It’s impossible to have any serious discussions, about religious mythology (and all religions, by definition, are mythological) so eliminating “erroneous blather” (as you classify it) would end religious discussions.

    And wouldn’t that make life less fun?

  1. Rev Zen Rebel's Avatar Rev Zen Rebel

    Growing up in the Greek Orthodox faith, I have never been one to care about the Pope. And, I believe the Vatican holds many evil secrets of brutality and violence. This particular pope makes me laugh, every time he speaks, he outrages some group of his flock. I believe he was a bouncer at one time, so I just look at him as the latest puppet voice for the global corporatocracy.

  1. rebadams7's Avatar rebadams7

    Be fruitful and multiply is one of the edicts of the Bible. Be a good steward is also a biblical edict. There is a time to every purpose under heaven and not all should or do marry. Each person muct make their own faith journey and technology has given us the tools to choose parenting or not. Where there are still so many children, many older than infancy, that are in need of a home, some might consider it selfish to be blessed with a good situation in life and not to share it with a child in need. As to the question of mono parenting and mono sex parenting, there are many opinions on that question, and the ideal of exposing children to the style and life of both a male and a female parent still has merit. There have always been and always will be poor parents. Rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. The Pope speaks to his church. Every clergy that speaks to their congregations do just that. Make of it what you will.

  1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

    The Vatican has enough wealth in its coffers they could literally put every child currently the system needing a real home, in the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., Russia, and China into the kind of boarding schools only the wealthy elite spend their entire child hood at, and still be among the most wealthy factions on our globe.

    When a man with the coffers to rival 10 thousand kings thinks its the common folks job to pay to raise children into adults, I simply look down at that man and call him less then nothing. The pope has less standing in my eyes at this point then ever before saying stupid tripe like this.

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