I like Pope Francis. I really, really do. He seems like an open-minded and modern guy, which is more than we can say for the last guy, Pope Boringpuss IX.
That being said, I was fascinated by Francis’ latest mass, when he told couples that not having children would result in, “the bitterness of loneliness.”
He continued: “This culture of well-being from 10 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.”
Hmm … where to begin? How about with the question, “What the hell does Pope Francis know about having and raising children?” Answer: Nothing. How do I know this? Because he’s never had kids. Or, for that matter, sex (although I suppose it’s possible he danced the villainous two-step pre-priesthood). Imagine taking parenting advice from your 80-year-old never-been-married, never-had-children neighbor? The one who thinks you’ve sinned every time you watch a Three’s Company re-run?
I’ve had kids. Twice. They’re hard work. They cost loads of money. They eat and eat and eat and eat, and oftentimes you’re left cleaning up the mess. There are people in this world—good, sane people—who simply don’t desire to raise offspring. They’re not wrong or dumb or misinformed, and they certainly can live happy existences without the muddy pitter patter of little post-monsoon footsteps.
Truth be told, the worst reason (though not an uncommon one) to have kids is so that, come old age, you’re not lonely or alone. There are many decades between 30 and 80; decades where one will be forced to endure the myriad annoyances and heartaches that come with children. So, to follow the Pope’s wisdom, merely because, well, he’s the Pope … eh, it’s an awful idea.
Besides, if you ever wanna rent, mine are available.