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Why The Pope Is Wrong

Why The Pope Is Wrong: Childfree couples should be valued for their contributions Read More

I so agree with this article!

I so agree with this article! I was upset to hear this from him. I am 35 year old woman with no children and I plan not to have any, my personal choice. Not that I hate kids I just don't want them. My two dogs are my children and that's all I need. He who is no father should not say make such statements...unless he is bitter and lonely because he has no children? However now everyone feels that way when they choose not to have children. I am happy of not having that stress of raising another human being. No expense, worries about someone's future, etc. I love that I can come to a quiet home, do whatever and whenever I want. Take a trip anywhere at anytime without worrying how it will affect my child's college fund. Just my personal opinion...

Good for you. Your life

Good for you. Your life sounds great. The Pope is way out of line on this. It's women who have to do the majority of work in carrying, giving birth to and raising children as well as caring for other family members. As a man, he has no place telling women what to do with their bodies or their lives.

The pope

can step up and get married and then his (much younger) wife could pop out a few pups. Then we could maybe take him just a hair more seriously....cause I still wouldn't care what this old man says about this subject. It is so personal.

But, he's the CEO of a major corporation and his job is to get MORE butts into pews. How's he supposed to do this if members of his "flock" aren't minding and being fruitful and multiplying their butts off. Where are all the new catholics supposed to come from? He can only send people into the farthest reaches of Africa to win converts for only so long, right?

Also, I don't understand how people can be catholic. I work with a guy who is catholic. He and his wife have been married close to 20 years and only have 2 children. So, unless they only had sex a couple of times, they used birth control and that's against the rules, right? How do they square this circle? They still go to church every week and claim that it is important in their lives and yet they're disobeying one of the main tenants of their religion.

The NEW Catholics: we pick and choose what we want to follow and disregard the rest! Everybody else however, you better do what the church says! Or else!

Who was the pope addressing?

The Catholic Church is based on two things: Money and membership. It needs both to survive. When it comes to religion, every religious leader knows never to admonish or insult a congregation. To increase money and membership one must honor, support and celebrate those that are already participating.

So when the pope talks about being fruitful and multiplying, perhaps he is addressing those that have already been fruitful and multiplied. The child-bearing church members are made to feel good as they have already done the right thing. This may result in them more likely to show up to church to hear about their good deeds and more likely to write a big check.

The Pope doesn't really care about the thoughts, feelings and life goals of those that don't show up for service and those that don't write checks.

from under rocks

Look little monkey, no one would expect bigots like you to care what "the old man" thinks even if he did have children. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are interested in the Pope's opinion, even if they disagree with the opinion. I for example, am interested in his opinions, even though some of the things he has said sound mildly supportive of the evil stupidity that is socialism.

And, abstaining from birth control is a main tenant of Catholicism? LOL, of course you don't understand how people can be Catholic. Your mind is closed like a mud brick. Now move along little bug....

I struck a nerve

Speaking of bigots, whatyou got against monkeys and bugs? You sound like a bully. I'm glad I don't know you in real life.

You made me laugh though, here in the safety of the internet. I actually like your pope for just the reasons you don't. But, as a non-catholic, we're told he's your conduit to god. That's what makes him special. How can you disagree with ANYTHING he says if he's getting his talking points from the "ultimate old guy" in the sky?

And, yes, according to my catholic workmates, abstaining from birth control is a tenant of added the word MAIN.

So, now move on little man. There's grownups writing to each other here. (sorry, had to stoop down to your level, just for fun)


If you go back and re-read your post, it was in fact you, Happy Monkey, who called it a main tenet of faith. While it is a moral teaching of Catholics to abstain from artificial birth control, it's not a central or main teaching of the Church.

Also, it is the Eucharist, not the Pope, that is our conduit to God.

the main tenant

is to be fruitful and multiple. That is the tenant to which I was referring. They only had two children instead of 10 or 12 which is how many they should have.

But you're right. I'm not catholic, so all I can go on is what catholics around me tell me. They say their pope is god's representative on earth. I take them at their word. They tell me birth control is a no-no. I take them at their word. I also see the news where the pope and his representatives are telling the people of Africa not to use condoms because that is birth control and it is wrong, sinful. I see that as irresponsible because Africa is where AIDS is most prevalent. I see THAT as sinful.

But mostly thank you for not being as mean and condescending as your counterpart. I don't know what the eucharist is, but I'll be educating myself about it. This is how we learn from each other and I can and will do that if I'm not belittled and called names and told to scurry off by someone who obviously thinks they know me.

All in the family

>>be fruitful and multiple. That is the tenant to which I was referring. They only had two children instead of 10 or 12 which is how many they should have.

Are you for real? It seems that you are writing satire--Archie Bunker level of thought.

Guess what: My wife and I had only one child and it's not for lack of trying. Did it ever occur to you that the guy you work with and his wife may have been only able to have two kids?

Real as rain

You're correct of course. I didn't think of that....except I did.

He TOLD me that he and his wife went against the teachings of the catholic church and used birth control. He SAID this is something the catholic church is WRONG about. I didn't say any more because he's a superior and I didn't want to get into religion with him. He brought it up, he mused about it and I listened. I only wondered later how he could hold such disparate views i.e. the catholic church is wrong about something. How can that be?

I'm sorry you only had one child if you wanted more.

You seem to keep attacking me and my reality. And, I'm not attacking you when I say your fellow believers tend to do this as well. You (religious people) can't argue on the merits of the case so you attack the person making the arguments. It is a tried and true strategy but it is becoming too obvious. If you're catholic and you're proud of that, own it. You've gotta admit that there are some glaring problems in your belief system, just as there are in other's belief systems, just as there are in atheists' world views. But bring up the problems in those world views is not an argument for yours. Like it says in your bible, take the plank out of your eye before you point out the thorn in mine (or something to that effect).

The argument is about what the pope said. He criticized childless people. He said we were going to die bitter and alone. Did he think about you and your wife when he said that? Did he think about people who've lost a child(ren) to an accident? What if, heaven forbid, you lost your only child to a car accident. Your doomed to grown old bitter and alone then? It seems heartless and cruel and this from an envoy of an all-knowing god. THAT'S THE ARGUMENT. You can call me Archie Bunker, "little monkey" a bug or whatever else you want to. Doesn't make your arguments good. Makes you look bad.

was this translated by Bing?



Catholics usually have been involved in their church since elementary school. They are taught and conditioned to behave a certain way. I usually can sense a Catholic before one can confirm their religion. They have a strong desire to appear level-headed, not to openly criticize and are very passive aggressive(discord will always show itself in some way). Catholic women are prone to whispering and talking in a bit of a baby voice.

Hardened Catholics have one quality that I find a bit offensive. No matter what the discussion or subject topic they will let you know early on they are married and have children. There will always be a reference in conversation to "my wife" or "my husband" whether it applies or not. Other examples may be "I have children so I don't have much time" or "I'll have to pick up my daughter later", where these references may having nothing to do with what is being talked about. I don't think Catholics even know they are doing this. Other severe hardened religious people do the same thing.

As someone who isn't married and doesn't have kids my first though is these folks are trying to assert their superiority over me, but upon further consideration I don't think it is that deep. Every Catholic does this so they do it. It's how they speak. They'd probably react badly if I were to point this out.

Throwing stones

You really feel right making such broad generalizations about Catholics? Do you also walk around spouting broad generalizations about African Americans, Asians, Jews, etc?

I spent 11 years in Catholic

I spent 11 years in Catholic school and going to Mass every week. I think your observations are interesting and quite revealing of the social pressures on Catholics. Not just their behaviors but their feelings and thoughts can be sinful and offensive to God. You try being Goody Two Shoes 24 hours a day every day of your life. One simply cannot feel all of the feelings one is ordered to feel at all times, so there is a sense of being something of a bad person or a failure. Then you go to confession, where you talk to God and promise never to commit that sin again. Then you break your promise. How does any person feel who can never trust his or her own word given in that way? Ashamed.

That sort of inner experience can make people sound rather defensive and flat. I think you're quite right about wanting to sound level-headed too. I'm not sure why that is and it will be interesting to think about it.

The person who criticized your comment doesn't know what actual prejudice is.

Thank you

I'm glad you understand where I was coming from. I feel sorry for those Catholics that always want to appear controlled, good and family-minded while never saying how they actually feel. I tend to identify them and keep my distance. I suspect others do the same.

One can't depend on their adult children

I have a friend who had 3 sons. She spoiled her sons. Even after they because adults she provided dinner at her home for them every night. She did their laundry as well. She provided childcare services for their children and served big elaborate meals at holidays.

Her sons have all gotten married, one even lives a few doors down from her now with his wife. My friend has early onset Alzheimer's. She's disoriented and confused. Her sons are nowhere to be had. Even the one who lives extremely close by no longer visits his mother. She's getting care from a home health aid.

A Counter-argument

I've read your article, but I think your responses to the pope's statement either miss the point entirely, or fail to understand the context in which the statement was made.

1. You point out that marriages often end in divorce. However, we Catholics believe that marriages NEVER end in divorce. When a couple has a civil divorce, they may divide their property and move away from each other and, yes, even provide a challenging situation for their children. Yet, in the eyes of the Church and the eyes of God, the marriage is no less valid than it was before the divorce. Love is not an emotion, but a choice. Marriage is not a choice, but a promise, and part of that promise is to not part until death. It is simply not rational to say that you won't have children because you're afraid of what might happen if you one day decide to break your promise. Rather, that's a reason to not break your promise. If you're afraid that your spouse might one day break her or his promise, then that's a failure of trust that needs to be addressed, not accommodated.

2. Nowhere in the pope's statement does he admonish single parents for having children. The point of his statement is to advise married people to have children, not to advise single people to not have children. Not only is your second point a blatant red herring, doesn't it also undermines your first point?

3. I'm sure childfree couples do have more time and money to give in other ways, but in religion intent matters. Do you think the decision to remain childfree is usually made because the couple wants to have more time and money to benefit others (in the same way that priests choose to remain sex-free and spouse-free), or because they want more time and money to benefit themselves? Pope Francis's entire ministry has focused on advocating the poor and helpless and admonishing those who value material wealth over life. What else could the decision to be childfree for material gain be if not the valuing of wealth over life? If you are purposely making a sacrifice in your life because you want to dedicate those resources to helping other people, that's great, but Pope Francis is addressing couples who are remaining childfree for themselves.

4. Again, with your fourth point, you have an argument that directly undermines the previous one. Yes, a childfree life can be easier and less complicated, but religion is not about living an easy or uncomplicated life. Religion is about making tough decisions and sacrificing and suffering for the sake of love. Furthermore, I'd really prefer to not go over the myriad ways in which dogs and people are different, but it is worth noting that raising a dog is a profoundly different experience from raising a child. You can give your dog love, but you can't pin your hopes to them. You can't expect your dog to be more successful or to have a better life than you did. You can't even take satisfaction in knowing that your dog has moved out of the house and doesn't rely on your love and attention in the same way, but rather has become an independent person who can provide care for herself or himself.

5. Yes, there is no guarantee that a child will care for her or his parents in their aging years (although there is the guarantee that your pets will not). However, that's really what loving a person is all about: love without guarantee. Pets provide an essential role in the lives of most people, because they show us unconditional love. However, children are, in some ways, the inverse of pets. Children cannot be counted on for unconditional love, but they must be provided with unconditional love. If you only have pets, you're only getting half the experience. You know what it's like to receive unconditional love, but not what it's like to bestow it.

Additionally, I should point out that children are not a substitute for prudence, and that the same resources available to prudent childfree couples are also available to prudent couples with children.

Hi JorduSpeaks, I was about

Hi JorduSpeaks,
I was about to rebut Ellen Walker's article, but you have already done a very good job. So I will prepare better---and likely quote you.

Marriages never end

So I have to ask, if marriage is soooo wonderful and great, why do the priests and the pope not get to participate in it?

I can't know the heart of another person. Marriage to another human being is a crap shoot.
1) People pretend to be something they aren't to get what they want.
2) Too often I see people become alcoholics or 3) become lazy and unwilling to keep working hard (due to becoming disillusioned with the "work your whole life" and you'll be rewarded at the end promise) that the change is more than another human should have to bear FOREVER.

All your points make me drop to my knees and thank Zeus that I wasn't born into a catholic family. If human beings were indeed perfect we wouldn't even be having these endless discussions about how to make marriages "work" and "getting the spark back" and on and on and on ad nauseum. And I certainly don't require another human to be perfect but that is why I don't treat marriage as something it isn't: a perfect institution that we can NEVER get out of. People make mistakes. People grow and change. People even change their minds. I'd rather have some flexibility. I'd also rather people didn't make a human institution about god and then say god brought us together and god doesn't make mistakes and therefore we have to stay together because of god and around and around.

I'd rather have somebody who stays with me out of love and not out of obligation. Not because they're afraid of not getting the reward in the hereafter. But, because they want to. If I truly love someone then I will love them whether or not they love me. And, I certainly don't want to force them to and I certainly don't want them to pretend to.

I knew a Catholic woman who

I knew a Catholic woman who was being severely beaten by her husband. She went to the Church for help and they told her to stay with her husband because divorce was a sin. Her large family - under the thrall of religious ideology - agreed and pressured her to stay, until she ended up in hospital with broken bones and finally got away to a women's refuge with her children.

I would like to know what is more of a sin - divorce or beating a woman to a pulp in front of her children? Leaving a violent man to make a better life for yourself and your children, or excusing and minimizing violence against women and children in the name of religious piety?

I know one too

I know a Catholic woman who is being beaten as well. She attends church 3 times a week with her children. Her husband has never entered the church. The wife is quite proud of being abused, she thinks she is on a mission to save her husband. Her children are another story. The girl is quiet and withdrawn and the boy is just plain weird. I can't imagine what it is like to have grown up in that house.

I come from a fundamentalist

background, hence a total rejection of religion. Women are second class citizens who are to obey and "submit" to their husbands (and you better get married or else). Women are walking wombs and are only allowed to exist because they birth the babies. Women are routinely beaten and raped because they don't want to get pregnant again but they really don't have any say in that. The Duggars are in this category but Mrs Duggar is so brainwashed she's fine with it all as lot of women are. But some aren't and they are the ones who are living in hell.

I once said something to my grandmother about the woman who lived next door whom we could hear being beaten by her husband. My grandmother's response was to the effect of, "well, I wonder what she did to deserve it" and that's when I KNEW I had to get out of there! When you're kept down and treated like the family dog, you'll begin to act like the family dog...cowering under the porch only coming out with tail between legs for a scrap or two to eat.

It is sad that this is all done in the name of religion. Suck it up -- you'll be rewarded for it in the end! The greater you suffer here on earth, the greater your reward will be in the after life!

Empty promises.

The Pope is treated by

The Pope is treated by Catholics like a celebrity or even God himself. Whatever happened to 'thou shalt not worship false idols?'

How many children does Pope Francis have?

Is he leading a worthless life by his own account? It's ok for The Pope not to have kids, but anyone else childless in the world is wasting their time. Shame on him for entertaining these thoughts.

Back to the dark ages!

No thanks, Popey! Your church's irrationality brought us one immensely painful and long dark ages. Humanity would prefer not doing that again.

Educational sidenote

I'm pretty sure it was the collapse of the Roman Empire that brought us the dark ages. The Catholic Church did preserve a wealth of intellectual texts and knowledge from destruction, however. In fact, you can still avail yourself of much of the knowledge that was preserved in this way, provided that you are the sort of person who enjoys knowledge.

Dark ages and the Roman Empire

Yes, that was more or less what was written in my history book too.
Plus, as far as I could understand, the "dark ages" as we are used to think about nowadays, are at least in part a legend born during the Enlightenment.

If ignorance is bliss...

... then this comments section has made me far more optimistic about the world's current depression epidemic.

Keep up the good work, humanity!

I wouldn't be so optimistic.....

Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.
Dalai Lama

Pope is right

My name's Julien,

This text is totally reductionnist and naïve.

I'm a frenchman I know very well that problem in my country, were most of families are broken. Let's not forget that capitalism needs the father's absence, who previously guarenteed a a reasonable purchases.
Freud tought us that is precisely the father who give us the structure of the "super ego" by mimicry.
It's a very serious subject and you've got to watch the results we europeans (and especially frenches) had with this kinds of thoughts.

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Ellen Walker, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the author of Complete Without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living By Choice Or By Chance.


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