Pope: Go Ahead, Breastfeed in Sistine Chapel
He baptizes 32 babies in annual event
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2014 12:42 AM CST
Pope Francis, right, delivers his message as he leads a ceremony where he baptized 32 babies, at the Vatican's Sistine Chapel yesterday.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
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(Newser) – In keeping with his down-to-earth style, Pope Francis encouraged mothers to breastfeed their babies in the grand surroundings of the Sistine Chapel yesterday. The pontiff did his best to put families with crying babies at ease as he baptized 32 infants under Michelangelo's famous fresco of the creation of man, the Telegraph reports. "Today the choir will sing but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise," he said. "Some will cry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry."

"If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here," he continued in brief remarks that contrasted with the long homilies his predecessors delivered at the yearly baptism event. In an apparent first for the Vatican, one of the 32 babies baptized had parents who were married in a civil service at a town hall, not a church, reports Reuters. The pope has repeatedly said that such children should not be treated as second-class faithful.