Pope to Couples: Have Kids, Not Pets
Lonely old age looms otherwise, he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2014 12:03 AM CDT
Pope Francis is shown a dog by a member of the Italian Federation of Canine Sports at the Vatican last fall.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
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(Newser) – Married couples who raise pets instead of little Catholics are destined for a bitter, lonely old age, according to Pope Francis. At mass yesterday, he said a "culture of wellbeing" had convinced people that "it's better not to have children"—because that way you can travel; "you can have a house in the country and be carefree," the Guardian reports. "Maybe it is better, more convenient, to have a little dog, two cats; and the love goes to the two cats and the little dog," he continued, but such a marriage will lead to "old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness. It is not fertile; it does not do what Jesus does with his church: he makes it fertile."

The pontiff was speaking at a special service for 15 couples who had been married for between 25 and 60 years, reports Vatican Radio. He told them along with "fruitfulness," that the two other pillars of a successful marriage are fidelity and perseverance. "Perseverance in love, in good times and in difficult times, when there are problems: problems with the children, economic problems, problems here, problems there—but love perseveres, presses on, always trying to work things out, to save the family."