Sistine Chapel: Pope Francis Says Mothers Can Breastfeed During Vatican Baptism Ceremony

Pope Francis has opened the doors and made some news, as he has given mothers the go-ahead to breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel during Vatican baptism ceremonies if they so choose to do it.

Think Progress reported that Pope Francis was presiding over the baptism off 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel, and he paused for a second during mass. It was then that he made the announcement to all of those in attendance.

“You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them, don’t worry.”

He also went on to speak about impoverished mothers around the world. Pope Francis spoke on how they often aren’t able to feed their children or themselves, and that this is a reality that everyone needs to be aware of.

This isn’t the first time that Pope Francis has allowed breastfeeding in the Sistine Chapel. During the baptism of 32 babies last year, he made a similar statement to all of those in attendance at mass.

“If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here.”

Twenty girls and 13 boys, per NBC News, was the breakdown of the babies being baptized in the Sistine Chapel, and his words immediately took hold of the mothers. Before reading the homily, there was at least one mother seen breastfeeding.

The Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo in the 16th century, and it is the room where cardinals elect popes in their secret conclaves. On March 13, 2013, Pope Francis was elected as the first non-European pope.

As known by so many, breastfeeding in public is a big debate, as some find it to be inappropriate while others find it a necessity. The fact that Pope Francis has vocally supported it the Vatican, one of the most religious sites in the world, is something that may make the debate a bit more one-sided.

There are 46 states in the nation that permit breastfeeding in public, but still, many women often feel forced to cover up or step out of view. Pope Francis allowing breastfeeding in the Sistine Chapel is a huge announcement and one that could change the view of things to come.

[Image via NBC News]