5th January, 2022
Pope Francis has spoken against the trend of couples having pets rather than children saying “it takes away our humanity.”
The pope was speaking Wednesday as part of a catechesis series on St. Joseph’s role as the father of Jesus.
The talks focused on parenthood, St. Joseph as the “foster father” of Jesus and what he described as the current “age of notorious orphanhood.”
Pope Francis said “many, many” couples don’t have children because they don’t want to. Or they just have one child “but they have two dogs, two cats.”
“Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children,” he 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.”
He went on to say that causes civilization to become “aged” and “without humanity, because it loses the richness of fatherhood and motherhood.”
Also during his speech, Pope Francis called for making adoption easier. And he urged those who can’t have children to consider adoption.
“It is a risk, yes: having a child is always a risk, either naturally or by adoption,” he said.
“But it is riskier not to have them.
“It is riskier to deny fatherhood, or to deny motherhood, be it real or spiritual.
“But denial, a man or woman who do not develop the sense of fatherhood or motherhood, they are lacking something, something fundamental, something important.”
The Pope noted that the Gospels of Luke and Matthew present Joseph as the “foster-father of Jesus” and not as his biological one.
The evangelist Matthew avoids the term “father of” in his genealogy, while Luke said he was the father of Jesus, “as was supposed”.
Pope Francis recalled that the practice of adoption was much more common in ancient times in the East than it is in our own societies.
He gave the example of the requirement in ancient Israel for a man to marry the widowed wife of his deceased brother, if he died without a male heir (Dt 25:5-6).
In this case, the legal father of the firstborn son from such a union would be the deceased man, ensuring both an heir for the deceased and the preservation of his estate.
Reported by Fox8 and The Vatican News