Pope Criticizes Those Who Have Pets Instead of Children

Pope Francis on Wednesday lamented that many couples now refrain from having children and opt instead to have pets, calling the refusal to be open to life a kind of “selfishness.”

“The other day, I was talking about the demographic winter that we have today … many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one — but they have two dogs, two cats,” the pope said, according to the Catholic News Agency.

Francis also prayed for the intercession of St. Joseph to “heal the selfishness of those who close themselves off from life….”

The pope’s comments come amid increasingly urgent efforts by world leaders to hedge against declining birth rates.

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