Pope Francis on Monday (June 2) warned married couples against substituting cats and dogs for children — a move that he said leads to the “bitterness of loneliness” in old age.
The pope made his comments as he celebrated daily Mass with 15 married couples in the chapel at the Santa Marta residence where he lives inside the Vatican.
He reminded the couples, whose marriages ranged from 25 to 60 years, of the need for faithfulness, perseverance and fertility in maintaining a Christian marriage.
But he went a step further and strongly criticized those couples who choose not to have children, saying they had been influenced by a culture of “well-being” that says life is better without kids.
“You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be carefree,” the pope said.
“It might be better — more comfortable — to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or not? Have you seen it?
“Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness.“
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SOURCE: Religion News Service