THE DEMOGRAPHIC FATE OF intelligent SPECIES: Pope Francis, child-free himself, calls other child-free people selfish

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pope Francis, child-free himself, calls other child-free people selfish

Do as I say, not as I do
Being a father myself, I think having children is beautiful (pope Francis said as much), yet choosing not to have any is also a respectable option. They are just different states of equilibrium. The pope's words are, therefore, kind of beyond me. How could someone who deliberately decide not to have kids call other people who make the same decision selfish? Does he consider himself superior, somehow? A quick Google search will show that many Catholic popes fathered children in history, before and even during their priesthood. As other Christian denominations can attest, clerical celibacy was not imposed by a divine authority or Jesus himself (who might or might not have been married and sired children). It was one of those things followers agreed, centuries later, to apply on themselves. What were just human conventions can always be undone by humans of a new era. Go have some kids yourself, dear Mr. Pope!


VATICAN CITY — Less than a month after sparking controversy for saying Catholics don't have to multiply "like rabbits," Pope Francis has once again praised big families, telling a gathering in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday that having more children is not "an irresponsible choice."
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A society that "views children above all as a worry, a burden, a risk, is a depressed society," Francis said.

Citing European countries where the fertility rate is especially low, the pope said "they are depressed societies because they don't want children. They don't have children. The birth rate doesn't even reach 1%."

He once again praised the 1968 encyclical of Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, that reiterated the ban against artificial contraception while enjoining Catholics to practice "responsible parenthood" by spacing out births as necessary.

Francis added, however, that "to have more children cannot automatically become an irresponsible choice."

"Not to have children is a selfish choice," he said. "Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: It is enriched, not impoverished!"
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