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!


  • Maria Forte

    I am a Catholic but believe Francis is being unfairly judgemental. As Michelle said he doesn’t know another person’s difficulties. Instead of accusing pet owners of being selfish, he should be addressing those that support killing babies in utero rather that receiving them as ‘good Catholics’ in the Vatican.

  • Michelle Knowles

    I’m not Catholic & I’m single with a cat, & because he was addressing couples without children, I’m not part of the group he was addressing, but it still makes me mad. For him to make a blanket statement like that just shows that he’s out of touch with most people in the world. Maybe people choose to not have children because they know that they’d pass on some genetic problem & don’t want their children to go through that. Mayne they know they wouldn’t be good parents for whatever reason & choose to not have children to make sure no child pays for what they think they might do or not do. Maybe having children would put a woman’s life at risk & she doesn’t want to go through that risk. Maybe people aren’t in a good financial situation to have children & they know this. Pets like cats & dogs & pigs are a lot cheaper to care for over time than children.

    As many couples who choose not to have children as there are, there are that many reasons for them to not have children. No one should ever be called selfish for this, whether they have pets instead or not. Maybe some are being selfish, but who is the Pope to say this? It’s not for him or anyone else to say whether another person’s being selfish or not.

    As much as this would anger a lot of Catholics for me to say this, the Pope is just a fallible, imperfect person like the rest of us. He doesn’t know another person’s true meaning or where their heart lies.

    As for pet people being selfish, I don’t think most of us are. Most of us put our pets’ needs & wants ahead of our own, & that’s not selfishness. That’s love. 🤗😻

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