(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:

While some people are angry and disagree with the pope:


  1. Of course the critical Tweets note that the Pope doesnt have any children. As though one needs to be an axe murderer to know the truth about murder! People need lessons in logic! Experience does not determine truth!

    • Jazziscoolithink

      I find it interesting that you compare being a parent to being an axe murderer. ;)

      I get your point, but it is not so simple as you try to make it out to be. To tell a dirt poor married couple that it is a sin to use contraceptives and to criticize them for responsibly choosing to not have children is exceedingly cruel. As if having children necessarily combats loneliness in your latter years. Sounds like the pope needs a lesson in logic!

  2. One of the comments was very interesting. It mentioned former pope Benny has 2 cats.

    Maybe this was all just really an inter-vatican flame war. Frankie really being upset over the cat dander when Benny’s little fuzzballs get loose.

  3. It’s all a matter of free will and choice, which gift God gave us. I have a grown daughter and 9-year old cat. Since my daughter lives out-of-state, I now enjoy the company of my cat. Let everyone make their own choice!!

  4. Therese Kinney

    I’ve had both kids and pets and pets are better. Of course cats & dogs can’t contribute $$$$ to the Catholic Church that still uses marriage and babies as a punishment for sex. I am hoping that the human race becomes extinct and that the animals can once again be free to live on this earth without fear of man or the church.

  5. You never heard this coming out of Pope Benny!


  6. Did he even consider the people that are unable to have children and possibly could not adopt a child? Or the possibility that not everyone wants or is meant to be a parent? A pet can bring joy into a person’s life almost or just as much as a child. He is very out of touch with reality.

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