Pope tells married couples: Have children, not pets

In a homily on Monday in the Vatican guesthouse where he lives, the Argentinian pontiff railed against “a culture of wellbeing” which he said had convinced some people they were better off shunning procreation and getting a pet instead.

“This culture of wellbeing … convinced us: ‘It’s better not to have children. It’s better! That way you can see the world, go on holidays; you can have a house in the country and be carefree,” he said.

“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.”

But such couples were destined to rue their ways, Francis said. “Eventually this marriage gets 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.”