As birth rates drop worldwide, Pope Francis is calling out people across the globe to choose to have pets rather than children. The Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church referred to the practice as “selfish.”
The Pope’s comments came during a general audience at the Vatican in Rome the first week of January 2022 on the topic of Saint Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, CNN reported.
“Today … we see a form of selfishness,” the Pope told the audience, the BBC reported.
“We see that people do not want to have children, or just one and no more,” Francis continued. “And many, many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one – but they have two dogs, two cats … Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children.”
“Yes, it’s funny, I understand, but it is the reality,” the Pope added. “And this denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity.”
“And in this way civilization becomes aged and without humanity,” Francis warned. “It loses the richness of fatherhood and motherhood. And our homeland suffers, as it does not have children.”
The overall global fertility rate is declining rapidly. A new UN study published in July 2020 said the world population will peak by 2100, while another dated the peak earlier to 2064. At least 23 countries will see their populations shrink by more than half of their current levels.
But a new study published in the journal The Lancet this week contrasted the UN findings, predicting that the global population will peak some four decades earlier by 2064. At least 23 countries, we’ll see their populations decrease to less than half of their current levels.
According to the report, the BBC reported some of the nations anticipated to see populations decline by over 50 percent are Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
According to the study, western countries such as the United States, Australia, and Canada have fertility rates lower than the amount necessary to replace the population.
The two most populous countries globally, China and India, are also expected to see significant population decreases that could weaken their global economic power.
China is expected to reach its peak at 1.4 billion people by 2024, then see its population fall to almost half at 732 million by 2100. At that time, it will be supplanted by India as the world’s most populated nation.
Amid concerns over the falling number of working-age people, which could affect its global dominance, China will now allow couples to have up to three children, as Amnesty International calls it a violation of reproductive rights. Before 2016, China had a decades-old policy of allowing couples only to birth one child to control population growth.
Overall, without the ability for a country to sustain its population, the expected result is a decline in economic growth.
Having a population dominated by the elderly means fewer workers. In turn, that’s fewer people paying taxes, and thus, paying healthcare for the elderly. Plus, there are fewer people to care for the elderly.