(RNS) When Pope Francis cautioned people not to substitute pets and vacation homes for children, was he being a cold scold or a wise old man with the experience of years?
Francis celebrated Mass with 15 married couples Monday (June 2), and during the Mass he warned the couples that substituting dogs and cats for children will lead to “bitterness of loneliness” in old age.
“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 not? Have you seen it?
“Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness,” he said.
Here’s what the Twitterverse had to say about it:
Some people agreed:
— Jack Wilkie (@jrw_4) June 3, 2014
Pope Francis Urges Couples to Raise Kids, Not Cats and Dogs: I totally agree http://t.co/uToPFw9zzZ
— Alberto Perbellini (@engperbellini) June 3, 2014
— Nat Katz (@NathanielKatz) June 3, 2014
— Nisansa de Silva (@NisansaDdS) June 3, 2014
I agree with Pope Francis – happiness is a warm FAMILY
— Carlos del Amo (@cdelamo) June 3, 2014
— janinabax (@janinabax) June 3, 2014
— jebusite1 (@jebusite1) June 3, 2014
— Jennifer (@jelyca618) June 3, 2014
— Albert Lusby (@alcheese) June 3, 2014
“@TIME: Pope Francis said that staying childless will ultimately bring married couples “the bitterness of loneliness” // I agree
— Romina Vargas (@LadyRomilicious) June 2, 2014
While some people are angry and disagree with the pope:
— Charles (@chall8987) June 3, 2014
— Jean White Ⓥ (@jeaniebellini) June 3, 2014
Children are the key to a happy marriage, says Pope Francis, having never fished car keys out of the toilet.
— Paul Richardson (@RunningJoke) June 3, 2014
@Pontifex thank you for making so many people who have pets angry.
— Alan Rupa (@AlanRupa) June 3, 2014
Why doesn't he just have his own kids if they're so great? Oh, right. Pope Francis Says: Have Babies, Not Furbabies http://t.co/sBMaVSxicE
— Tara Megan (@TMSowa) June 3, 2014
Apparently @Pontifex hasn't heard how incredibly awesome it is to: 1) not have kids, and 2) have disposable income.
— NorthernMNer (@NorthernMNer) June 3, 2014
— R2-D2 (@TheDiceMan_) June 3, 2014
Pope Francis tells childless not to use pets as substitutes. Pope Benny has two cats.
— Paul Moloney (@oceanclub) June 2, 2014
— Sam Johnston (@samj) June 3, 2014