Pope Francis praised parenthood and adoption during Wednesday’s general audience at the Vatican and lamented that pets sometimes take the place of children.
“Today we see a form of selfishness. We see that some do not want to have children. Sometimes they have one, and that’s it, but instead they have dogs and cats that occupy that place “, the Pope stressed during the first general audience of the year in the Paul VI room.
The Pontiff also exhorted the institutions to facilitate the adoption processes, so that the dream of children who need a family and of couples who want to host them come true. “The denial of fatherhood and motherhood diminishes us, takes away humanity, civilization becomes older,” he said.
The Pope again criticized the so-called “demographic winter” and the “dramatic fall in the birth rate” that is recorded in many Western countries and urged to have children or adopt them.
“Having a child is always a risk, be it natural or adopted. But it is more risky not to have it. It is more risky to deny paternity, to deny maternity, be it real or spiritual”, the Pontiff stressed.
At the end of the audience, as usual, the Pope attended several numbers prepared by a circus with clowns, jugglers, dancers and musicians, in a festive atmosphere that contrasted with the solemn Vatican stage.