Don’t only take dogs, but get children too, says Pope


Southern Europe


Dogs cannot replace children, the Pope says. Photo AFP, Alberto Pizzoli

Pope Francis warns against the decline of the number of children in Western countries. He regrets the development of people "buying pets to replace children", media report.

The Pope expressed his concern at the General Audience on Wednesday, Religion.orf reports. He referred to the term 'demographic winter' that he used earlier. "Many, many couples don't have children because they don't want to, or they have one and not more. However, they do have two dogs and two cats. Dogs and cats replace children", he lamented.

According to Pope Francies, the denial of fatherhood and motherhood degrades society and takes away humanity. "The fatherland suffers because it has no children", he declared. He also added that "a man and a woman who do not develop a sense of fatherhood and motherhood are missing something essential."

Francis challenged childless couples to consider the adoption of children. He said that "it's a risk, yes, having a child is always a risk, whether naturally or through adoption." But, according to him, it is riskier not to have any children at all Agencia Ecclesia writes.

Highest form of love

The Pope referred to Joseph, the ‘adoptive’ father of Jesus. "Joseph shows us that this type of choice is among the highest forms of love and paternity, and motherhood", he said, according to Avvenire.

Furthermore, the Pope expressed the hope that national institutions are ready to simplify adoption procedures so that more children can be placed by adoptive families.

The Pope has been complaining about the “demographic winter” earlier. Fertility in all European countries is below replacement, but Western and Southern Europe is compensating this with immigration. In the East of Europe this is not known. The population is shrinking there.



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