Pope Francis Tells Married Couples To Raise Kids, Not Dogs – Pet Lovers, Couples With Infertility Upset

Pope Francis faces some fallout after he told married couples that caring for dogs and cats is not enough to please Jesus. Pope Francis explained married couples should be fruitful and raise children:

“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.”

Pope Francis spoke to a a group of 15 married couples with between 25 and 60 years of marriage experience, Vatican Radio reported. Pope Francis spoke of marriage and urged the couples to treat their spouses the way Jesus treats his church. Pope Francis said the pillars of a marriage are fidelity, perseverance, and fruitfulness. After explaining the first two pillars, Pope Francis elaborated on the third pillar of marriage: Fruitfulness. In Jesus’ case, Pope Francis says the love of Jesus “makes the Church fruitful.” In a marriage between spouses, Pope Francis explained, “fertility can sometimes be put to the test when the children do not arrive, or are sick.” Pope Francis said that in those times couples should “draw on the power of fertility that Christ has with His Church.” The Pope stated clearly that Jesus does not like marriages that are “sterile by choice,” Vatican Radio reported.

Couples who have chosen not to procreate are not the only people upset by the Pope’s sermon. Faithful Christians who have prayed for years to conceive are also reportedly offended by Pope Francis’ suggestion, and animal lovers are also upset. “Clearly the pope has never had a pet or he would know the unconditional love that our animals have for us,” animal welfare advocate Cheri Shankar told the LA Times.

Still, some see Pope Francis’ words differently. Rusty Shackleford wrote in response to a Dogington Post article:

“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.”

Recently, according to the Daily Mail, Pope Francis appeared at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome and told 50,000 members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement that Satan is threatening families. After listening to a family of five speak, Pope Francis said that families face attacks from Satan, “because Jesus grows in parents’ love and children’s lives.” The remarks push still more adults away from their Catholic upbringing. The Pope’s confirmation that fruitfulness is still crucial to the Catholic Church comes at a time when the public is demanding answers regarding the discovery of nearly 800 bodies of children in a converted septic tank at a women’s shelter run by Catholic nuns.

Pope Francis made headlines earlier when he invited unwed women to baptize their babies, even if they were previously turned down by the church. The Pope extended the invitation to be baptized to everyone. The Pope explained that baptism shouldn’t be denied to anyone, including children of unmarried parents, according to Vatican News. The Pope said that, if it came down to it, even Martians could be baptized:

“If — for example — tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us… And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?”

Huffington Post suggested the Pope’s instructions to married couples and the open baptism invitation are the result of statistics released a week before that showed Italy’s birthrate had hit a record low last year.

[Photo via Flickr]