Ignore the Pope, adopt a pet

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Why can't I be clear about things and say we really just want more Catholics? - Pope Francis, probably Mazurcatholicnews via Flickr

Pope Francis should not be the one determining what is selfish based on his track record

Content Warnings: sexual violence, paedophilia, residential schools, genocide, intergenerational trauma

Pope Francis recently announced that the decision of couples who have pets instead of children is a form of selfishness. Not only has he preached that couples should plan for children over pets, but he also disapproves of parents who opt to only have one child rather aim for many children. It is not surprising the Catholic Church has enforced these ideals to their clergy. What is surprising is that Pope Francis has not considered the ironies within this standpoint. The last time the Catholic Church tried to parent here involved colonization and Indigenous children. I would not be taking advice from someone whose last parenting stint crossed the line of genocide.

In his speech, he stated that opting to not have a child “is a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, [and] takes away our humanity.” This is tough talk coming from a practice that used violence and force to deprive hundreds of thousands of Indigenous parents the “humanity” to parent their children. I would be interested to know what parenting tactics would be suitable in Francis’ opinion, considering the thousands of mass graves that were uncovered across Canada and the globe. The Catholic Church has proven throughout history they are not responsible to be left with children by any means. Priests and other clergy members who have physically or sexually abused children have spiked to horrific levels, leaving generations of traumatized people. Pope Francis is completely ignorant to assume he has a speck of insight on how to parent based on the track record of the conglomerate he leads. Francis needs a reality check on what really “takes away our humanity.”

The Pope referred to the decline in birthrates as the “demographic winter.” Does this sound familiar to you? To me, it sounds very much like the conversation that was had in the Handmaid’s Tale where they decided the best way to combat declining birthrates was to enslave
the “female race.” Pope Francis is trying to instil the fear that there will be no children left because couples refuse to keep having them. It is incredibly interesting to see an organized religion panic about the declining birthrates considering that when they stole Indigenous children, they did not allocate enough resources to keep a vast number alive (EIC note: and had no problem forcibly sterilizing countless others).

Many parents choose not to have children for a variety of reasons, and some of these reasons may include how much it costs to nurture a child properly. Expenses of children pile up, and so does the time that it takes to make sure you are giving as much time and attention to your child as possible. It shows that their priority is not in children’s best interests, but rather in them exercising your ability to procreate. Recognizing that you do not have the funds or time to give to a child is an incredibly mature decision to make.

The Pope has determined that people who have pets choose to because it is an easier option than having a child. Clearly, the Pope has never had a pet. Pets cost an immense amount to keep happy and healthy. Vet appointments and trips to the groomers are incredibly expensive. Not to mention the constant battle of keeping up with mealtimes, exercise schedules, and giving them the attention they deserve. Responsibility comes with parenting both pets and children. I would not take the advice from Pope Francis, who does not understand what responsibility means.

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