Pet Parents React To Pope's Remarks: Choosing Pets Over Kids is Selfish


A statement made by Pope Francis during a general audience at the Vatican is facing some backlash from pet owners: that couples who opt to have pets instead of children are being selfish. 

"We see that people do not want to have children, or just one and no more. And many, many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one -- but they have two dogs, two cats ... Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children," the Pope Francis said.

"Yes, it's funny, I understand, but it is the reality. And this denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity. And in this way civilization becomes aged and without humanity, because it loses the richness of fatherhood and motherhood. And our homeland suffers, as it does not have children."

With plenty of pet owners happily referring to themselves as pet parents, it wasn't long before reactions from pet parents around the globe came pouring in:





This Doodle had a very salient point:



And the piglet parents had something to say, too!



You can almost hear the collective cracking of knuckles over keyboards:


Others pointed out that some saintly predecessors may disagree:


Pope Francis' namesake is Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. 


Are you a pet parent? What was your reaction to Pope Francis' criticism? Let us know!


  • Kate

    There are a myriad of reasons people do not have children. Pets enrich us all if we love them as they deserve. What ignorance to say pet parents are wrong, selfish, stupid or any other derogatory remark. Has any pope ever been in touch with the reality of the people in our world! A big NO! You don’t get to the papacy unless you’ve spent your whole life preparing and being political and ‘pontificating’. No time left for loving anything beyond oneself. It’s as selfish an ambition as exists! Betting he’s never had a pet to love or be loved by and certainly never a child. Ugh!!!

  • Anne

    I’m Catholic, I had 3 pregnancies with 2 live births and 2 stillborn twin daughters. I’ve been a pet parent to many cats over the years and have spoiled my cats. I feel the same as everyone does. It was very ignorant of the pope to make such a blanket statement like he did. He has NO idea or clue what he’s even talking about! It makes me SO ANGRY because what he said really hurts the people who can’t have children. It was very stupid and he should be advised by his public relations company how to keep his mouth shut! Stupid things & comments like that used to send me into emotional tailspins after my twin daughters died that would take me a long time to recover from and able to move on again.

  • sharon illenye

    well considering that the pope has no kids himself that also seems selfish. why doesn’t he adopt a bunch of kids to set an example? its not like he is short on cash.

  • Amanda

    What a disgusting thing to say, totally messed up. It’s more selfish to have a child if you do not truly want one and not being able to give them the love and life they deserve. Not everyone is physically able to have children either. Totally lost my respect there.

  • Linda Ann Key

    I had two cats and I’m a proud cat mom….but pets give you unconditional love unlike a child who act like they know everything. I refuse to have children as I was bullied at a very early age and this put me off to having them, pontiff.

    Many can’t have children and so pets are as close to having a child, others feel they can’t cope with children while others are simply avoiding having a family because of their money circumstances. Bringing a child onto this world is expensive, so couples just don’t want to have them.

    For me, a cat is family to me and pets offer a lot more than a child can as I can tell you. St Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals, Egyptians worshipped the cat…so is it selfish to have a pet over a child? I don’t think so, pets enrich us in so many ways and bring us laughter and fun; what does a child do? Turn into killers, drug addicts, become selfish, unruly, and a brat? Snub us when we are older? No I would rather have a pet, than a child.

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