Pope Francis said yesterday that people who have pets instead of kids is a "denial of fatherhood or motherhood" that "diminishes us, it takes away our humanity." From the New York Times:
The pope had already signaled his kids-over-kibbles stance in a 2014 interview with the Rome daily Il Messaggero. When asked whether some in society valued pets more than children, he said that it was a reality that reflected a "sign of cultural degeneration."
"That's because an emotional relationship with animals is easier, more programmable," he said at the time. He added, "Having a child is something complex."
Pope Francis is not known to have kept pets in his apartment at a Vatican guesthouse. His predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, on the other hand, was such an avowed cat person that there is even a children's book — "Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told by a Cat" — told from a feline perspective.