THE Pope shocked even some of the most fervent members of his own church last week when he made a very bizarre pronouncement about pet owners.
During a general audience at the Vatican, he said pet ownership was selfish and some people appear to prefer to have pets rather than children. He said this attitude was ‘a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity’.
His comments raised eyebrows on so many levels. Firstly, people who cherish and care for animals would certainly never see this daily and often exhausting task as being a sign of any selfishness. Children grow into independent adults – pets need unconditional and forever care.
The man who shares his name with the patron saint of animals did not seem to consider the possibility that some humans simply prefer the company of animals to other humans, and it may be nothing to do with the choice not to have children.
Or that one of the signs of ‘humanity’ is an ability to care for all living things, including domestic pets.