Opinion: Pope Francis, your remarks about preferring dogs to children don't make sense.
Greetings, Pope Francis
I was raised as a Catholic. To cut a long tale short, I am currently a stray sheep.
Something you recently stated bothered me. You made a snide remark about those who don't have children. You said that people who have pets rather than children are selfish and that pet-parenting "takes away some of our humanity."
This doesn't sound like something you completely considered coming from the head of a church that prohibits priests and nuns from marrying and having children.
Pets help us become better people. They serve as a continual reminder of some of life's most fundamental values: love, loyalty, being present, and finding delight in the simplest of things.
Consider this scenario: A dog finds transcendence in a phony rawhide bone. As soon as their owners return home, they are capable of seeing god. Cats, on the other hand, have their own way of telling us that we're not quite so wonderful. Animals provide us with far more than they deprive us of.
Second, I believe that most families do not have to choose between pets and children. Some people may not be able to start a family. Others may not desire them because they are better fulfilled in other ways. Consider how much good a person can accomplish for mankind if they are not focused on nurturing one solitary individual in the mirror.
And it's not like we're short on babies: the world's population is expected to hit 8 billion this year.
Finally, we all have to make decisions. Normally, they include trade-offs. You've made such decisions. Everyone knows that your predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, is the epitome of a cat man – a single man without children who owns cats.
I'm sure you weren't implying that Benedict is self-centered. Priests and nuns who must choose between having children and joining the religion you lead aren't exempt either.
The idea is that priests and nuns have to make a decision. Exactly like you did. Benedict did the same thing with his celibacy and his pets. People who don't have children feel the same way, for whatever reason.
Selfishness is not the same as exercising free will.
After all, who cares if some individuals claim that their dogs are their children? They can even be mistaken for one another...