So, Pope Francis has condemned those who do not have children “selfish”.
In a speech to his general audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pontiff stated “The choice not to have children is selfish. Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: it is enriched, not impoverished”
The remarks were supposedly directed at couples who make an active choice not to have children. Yet as well as attempting to make such couples feel guilt and shame, his comments, whether intended or not, can only ever be yet another attack upon LGBT people. I for one certainly feel deeply offended by his statement.
And I’ll just head others off at the pass here that, yes, some LGBT people do indeed have children. Many more would love to be parents. The vast majority however shall never know the joys of parenthood. And the factors governing that are not selfishness, but rather biological impossibility, coupled with societal attitudes which frown upon LGBT people parenting children, whether that be through surrogacy or adopting or fostering children. And why do societies frown upon that? Because of conservative religious dogma from many faiths, with the Roman Catholic Church being one of the strongest critics of same-sex marriage and LGBT parenting.
Let us, however, take the Pope’s statement into context. Pope Francis says that not having children is selfish. That immediately castigates not only heterosexuals who choose not to have children, but also LGBT people whose sexuality and gender is wholly natural and something to be embraced and enjoyed, not made to feel ashamed of. That is quite a comment from a man who not only (allegedly) has no children of his own, but is the supreme leader of a faith in which whose millions of clergy, nuns and monks make an active, concious, and wholly unnatural choice – going by the very rules of that faith – to live a life of celibacy, thereby making procreation an impossibility.
It is also a church which still actively protects some of the most selfish people on the face of the planet, namely paedophiles priests, who steal childhoods and destroy lives, for their own self-gratification.
What was that about selfishness?
Given that Pope Francis has chosen both to point the finger at others, and attempt to castigate those who do not have children, as a celibate man at the head of an organisation with millions of fellow celibates, methinks today’s Bible lesson for him should come from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 7, verses 1- 5 (King James Version);
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”