CV NEWS FEED // Pope Francis on Wednesday lamented that many couples now refrain from having children and opt instead to have pets, calling the refusal to be open to life a kind of “selfishness.”
“The other day, I was talking about the demographic winter that we have today … many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one — but they have two dogs, two cats,” the pope said, according to the Catholic News Agency.
Francis also prayed for the intercession of St. Joseph to “heal the selfishness of those who close themselves off from life….”
The pope’s comments come amid increasingly urgent efforts by world leaders to hedge against declining birth rates.
As CatholicVote reported, at the end of 2021 the United States Census Bureau announced that America had just had its lowest annual birth rate in the history of the nation. Shortly before the census report, billionaire Elon Musk warned that the ongoing population bust would lead to catastrophe. “There are not enough people,” he said. “Please look at the numbers, if people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble. Mark my words.”
Some countries, including Hungary, are tackling the issue head-on, implementing policies designed to make it easier for citizens to form families and have children. American Catholic political commentator Steve Cortes believes America should follow suit.
“In a society that increasingly promotes toxic cultural rot, enabled by big business and its toady allies in the federal government, private institutions must flourish or the torch of Western Civilization will extinguish,” wrote Cortes in a recent essay. “No institution matters more than the family, and we need policies that will, once again, empower families to thrive.”
As CatholicVote has reported, even the communist regime in China – which has brutally attacked families and childrearing for decades with laws such as the one-child policy – has begun making efforts to encourage more births.
Catholic journalist Margaret Mary Olohan shared Pope Francis’ comments approvingly Wednesday, as well as a simple comment from writer Tim Meads.