Friday, February 13, 2015

Are you kidding me?

I woke up just before 4am and couldn't go back to sleep.  So I made a pot of coffee and settled in to read the news where I found this gem.

I'm not Catholic.  I'm not even religious.  I do like a lot of what Pope Francis has to say (e.g, preaches a message of social justice).  But I find his most recent comments to be very insulting (and I fully acknowledge that these comments are addressed to those who choose not to have children).

Here are my thoughts in order:

  1. A (presumably) celibate, single guy wants us to take reproductive advice from him.  LOL.
  2. Choosing not to have kids is not selfish or narcissistic.  It's a valid choice and those people deserve to be supported.
  3. The Catholic church puts those with infertility in quite the bind.  They think that people should have a bunch of kids while simultaneously admonishing anything that helps a couple get pregnant.  
  4. Based on my childfree (I really hate this word!) status I feel unwelcome in the Catholic church.  Because, if you really want to get technical, hubs and I did choose not to have children.  We carefully considered all of the options available to us and decided not to proceed with any of the options, thereby choosing not to have children.  
  5. Having kids costs money.  A lot of it.  How does he propose that people, particularly those who live in countries with high unemployment rates, support these children?   
I know I could go on and on about this but I think I'll stop here.  This really fired me up.....


  1. I am obviously having good few days. When I read it in the article, I just stopped reading and I thought: Well, Catholic church needs Catholic babies, so the institution can remain for the next 2.000 years.

    The company where I work always needs new costumers / clients. Cash flow provides existence of the company. And this provides that I get my pay every month.

    Catholic church needs new believers. Who will support the Church in the years to come . So, who is selfish here?

    BTW: Hasn't the Pope heard about Overpopulation of the Earth?

    PS: Otherwise I also really like the Pope, but from time to time I am just disappointed.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head, Klara. New church members are essentially their way of ensuring long-term survival. I think you're right that the church is essentially a business.

      I am very disappointed in Pope Francis too!

  2. Amen, sister! You've helped fired me up...I will be writing a blog post on this later today (after I finish a cup of coffee and get my thoughts organized) xx

    1. I can't wait to read your post! I'm sure it will be so much better than my sleep deprived, caffeine deficient, early morning ramblings!

  3. I am sure I responded to this over the weekend. I know I wrote a response - maybe I didn't get to press Publish!

    Anyway, I totally agree. Whilst I agree with a lot of the social justice comments the Pope has made, I disagree with his stance on contraception and children, and think of all those millions of people who would be able to live better lives, and give better lives to their children and their wider communities, if they were able to limit their family-building. I think of Africa, and Asia; I know the Philippines well, and although they are very devout Catholics, having a little leeway on contraception/children wouldn't hurt them.

    I personally cannot understand why anyone (a member of the church or not) would take advice on marriage and having children from a single, celibate man in a church that discriminates against women. It may offend people, but his church's stance on women and childless people offends me. I know people who are selfish, and I know people without children, and I can say that these too groups have very little crossover. I'll try to stop there though, as the whole "people without children are selfish" comment is to me colossally ignorant and damaging, and just plain wrong, and as you may have guessed, it infuriates me!

    1. I completely agree with every single word that you've said here! People, particularly in poor third-world countries that lack social support safety nets and I have to think that these people would be in a better position if they had two or three kids as opposed to 12, likely without prenatal care to speak of.

      I also completely agree with your feelings on the church discriminating against women. There is definitely something fishy about taking marriage and reproductive advice against a group of celibate males. I have a feeling that you and I have similar feelings about religion/church. :)

      I've spent my entire career working with students in the 14-24 age range and I have always been a staunch advocate for young women being well informed about birth control options, sex, protecting themselves, etc.. In this day and age there really is no excuse for unintended pregnancies. And don't even get me started on violence against women.....

  4. Totally agree with you and with the other commenters. I am not Catholic (dh was brought up Catholic & I have been to countless Catholic weddings & funerals over the past 30 years) and I don't think I ever would be, unless the church's attitudes changed dramatically on certain topics (particularly pertaining to women). But I have been following this new(ish) Pope with interest -- I've been impressed and encouraged by what he's had to say on other contentious matters -- so to hear this from him was deeply disappointing. :(

    1. I'm very disappointed in his recent comments too. Sadly I do not foresee any major changes in the church (Catholic or otherwise) anytime in the near future. The funny part of it is that people, the millennial generation in particular, are turning away from the church en masse because church doctorine contradicts their personal beliefs (e.g., contraception, marriage equality) and if the church wants to grow they are going to have to figure out a way to be more accepting of a broader diversity of beliefs.

      As for me, it's been close to a decade since I stepped foot in a church for purposes other than a wedding or funeral (or a fish fry, LOL) and I honestly don't know that I see myself ever attending for any other purpose again.