Pope Francis saddened that many couples would rather have pets than children

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The Pope arrived earlier than usual to his weekly General Audience with pilgrims.

In his catechesis, he reflected on St. Joseph's role as Jesus' foster father. Pope Francis said that society today “is something of an orphan.” And he lamented that many people today would rather have pets than children.

Many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one. But they have two dogs, and cats. Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children. It's funny, I understand, but it is the reality. This denial of motherhood or fatherhood diminishes us. It takes away our humanity. And in this way, civilization becomes aged and without humanity, because it loses the richness of fatherhood and motherhood.

The Pope also encouraged couples who cannot have kids to consider adoption.

Having a child is always a risk, either naturally or by adoption. But it is riskier not to have them. It is riskier to deny fatherhood, or to deny motherhood, be it real or spiritual, to deny it. A man or woman who do not develop the sense of fatherhood or motherhood, they are lacking something, something fundamental, something important.

Pope Francis also asked insitutions to facilitate the adoption process so that no child is left without a parent's love.

I hope that institutions will always be ready to help (regarding adoption), by seriously monitoring but also simplifying the necessary procedure, to fulfill the dream of so many children who need a family, and of so many couples who wish to give themselves in love.

This week's General Audience saw a new change.

For the first time, lay men and women participated in the reading of the Pope's greetings in various languages.

Among them was Christopher Wells, an American who works for Vatican Media.

There was Sr. Andrea Lorena Chacón, who works in the Secretariat of State.

Even a circus attended the Pope's Audience and performed at the end.

Pope Francis seemed to enjoy the show, and he acknowledged the countless hours of work put in to prepare such a performance.

It's a spectacle that puts us in contact with beauty, and beauty always elevates us. It is a way of moving toward the Lord. Thank you.

This performance was also a way for the circus group to celebrate their return to the stage after a tough pandemic period.



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