Santorum: 'Very Difficult' to Listen to Pope
Ex-senator didn't like pontiff's statements on Catholics breeding 'like rabbits'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2015 1:45 PM CST
Former US senator and possible 2016 presidential contender Rick Santorum speaks at Republican campaign headquarters in Mason City, Iowa, Oct. 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Globe Gazette, Arian Schuessler)

(Newser) – Pope Francis likely wasn't referring specifically to Rick Santorum when he said Monday that there was no need for Catholics to breed "like rabbits"—but the ex-Pennsylvania senator and past/possibly future US presidential contender didn't like what he heard. "It's sometimes very difficult to listen to the pope and some of the things he says off the cuff, and this is one of them," Santorum said Tuesday during an interview with conservative Catholic radio host Hugh Hewitt. "The pope is the leader of the Catholic Church, and when he speaks … I'll certainly pay attention. But when he speaks in interviews, he's giving his own opinions, which I certainly will listen to. But from my perspective, that doesn't reflect the idea that people shouldn't be fruitful and multiply, and that people should be open to life as something that is a core value … of the Catholic Church."

Santorum, a devout Catholic and father of seven, says he doesn't even know what Francis is talking about, as this "isn't a global problem," he told Hewitt. "Maybe he's speaking to people in the Third World, but the problem, certainly, in most of the Catholic world is not procreation." Despite the pope's words, Santorum doesn't think there will be any significant changes in the Catholic Church regarding contraception. "That's not going to happen," he told Hewitt. "The Holy Spirit isn't going to let him make that kind of mistake." The pope has somewhat walked back his statement, saying Wednesday that "healthy families are essential to society" and often "welcome children as a gift from God," the Washington Post reports. (Santorum also had a lot to say on the alleged Muslim "no-go zones," this week's SOTU, and his possible 2016 presidential run).
 

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