Pope Francis called the decision “another phenomenon of cultural degradation.”
Pope Francis upset many pet parents on social media after he criticized couples who choose to have pets instead of children.
During one of his talks with a general audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis said the decision to take care of pets rather than have children "takes away our humanity."
"We see a form of selfishness. We see that some people do not want to have a child. Sometimes they have one, and that's it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of children," he said. "This may make people laugh, but it is a reality."
The Pope also suggested that people who can't have biological children should adopt, The Guardian reports.
"How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them," continued the Pope. "Having a child is always a risk, but there is more risk in not having a child."
Many pet parents and childless couples were not cool with the Pope's comments, and some even pointed out that he himself chose not to have children.
"How many children has the Pope got?" one Twitter user asked.
Me enjoying my childless life while the Pope fumes:pic.twitter.com/IhUWtFi3ku— Jackie Talks Nerdy #MiyagiFang4Life (@Jackie Talks Nerdy #MiyagiFang4Life) 1641401427
Another Twitter user said, "Why should people be thrust into poverty to have children? That's what frequently happens. Consciously deciding not to have kids is noble."
Oh I saw what the Pope said about pets, and this is what this Catholic thinks of it ...pic.twitter.com/j8O0XMCuGt— Cath Feely (@Cath Feely) 1641412827
This isn't the first time the Pope has criticized couples who have pets instead of children.
In 2014, he said that "Jesus does not like [...] marriages that are sterile by choice," and one example he used was couples who give their love to their cats and dogs.
Pope Francis is celibate and has no children or pets.
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