Pope Francis told married couples that dogs and cats are no substitutes for children — and marriages without children end with “the bitterness of loneliness.’’
The pope addressed 15 couples, who have been married between 25 and 60 years, on Monday during a Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican, where he emphasized three qualities that are important in Christian marriages — faithfulness, perseverance, and fruitfulness.
Pope Francis said Jesus does not like marriages that are sterile by choice and such marriages end in solitude, according to Vatican Radio.
This culture of well-being from ten years ago convinced us: 'It's better not to have children! It's better! You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be care-free…it might be better – more comfortable – to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or is this not? Have you seen it? Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness. It is not fruitful, it does not do what Jesus does with his Church: He makes His Church fruitful.
The pope also acknowledged that some couples face fertility issues and urged those couples to remain faithful.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis also spoke about families, saying they are under attack, when he addressed more than 50,000 Catholics at Rome’s soccer stadium, theAssociated Press reports.
Francis told the faithful that the devil wants to destroy the family, which he described as the "domestic church." Bishops from worldwide will meet in Rome in October to discuss problems afflicting families.
In his remarks on Monday, the pope also told married couples that they must remain faithful in their unions, and should persevere in good times and bad times.