Hey, Pope Francis: Some people would rather raise pets than children
(Link): Hey, Pope Francis: Some people would rather raise pets than children by C Hall
- When Pope Francis urged married couples not to substitute raising pets for having children — or risk growing old in solitude “with the bitterness of loneliness” — all I could think was: Get this man a pet.
We’d have to start with making the Vatican residence pet-friendly — there’s a “no pets” rule at the moment — but I’m sure Francis could have that changed in no time. And he could adopt one of the many cats that roam the garden at the papal retreat, Castel Gandolfo.
- Clearly he’s not getting what the households owning 74 million cats and 69 million dogs, in the United States alone, understand: Furry children are, indeed, a blessing. (Not to mention that there are millions of fish, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters residing in American households.)
Francis made his remarks Monday at a small Mass in a Vatican chapel before 15 married couples. He said it might be “more comfortable” for couples to have no kids or “a dog, two cats,” but then they’re alone at the end. “It is not fruitful, it does not do what Jesus does with his church: He makes his church fruitful.”
I know Francis isn’t telling people to stop having pets, he’s just telling married couples to start having kids. Although, as we all know, having children is no slam-dunk hedge against loneliness and bitterness in old age.
… Certainly animals have been fruitful and multiplied, and fortunately for them and society, thousands of people, like the Shankars, rescue and care for them.
I have no children, but I had my cat, Arnold, from his kitten days until the early morning, 18 years later, when he died on the floor of my bedroom as I sat beside him. And like my other pet-owning friends, we are better people, not bitter people, for having loved and nurtured them, even if we eventually lost them.
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