(CBS SF) — There’s no need to read between the lines of the latest comment hurled from the Vatican. Pope Francis called childless couples “selfish” Wednesday while speaking to his usual audience at St. Peter’s Square.
“A society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is a depressed society,” the pope said. “The choice to not have children is selfish. Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: It is enriched, not impoverished.”
His address went on to talk about the joy of children and their role in society, weeks after he seemed to send a contradictory message telling Catholics they don’t need to breed like rabbits.
The pontiff’s remarks aren’t necessarily new. Last year, he warned against a “culture of well-being” that can come when a couple does not have children and has the money and freedom to take nice holidays and buy a second home.
Pope Francis has stated varying opinions on family and LGBT issues. In November he defended marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. Then in December he said the church should help families with gay children but denied claims that he supported gay marriage.
Last month he backtracked further on the issue, taking a firmer stance against same-sex marriage, claiming “the family” is threatened by the growing efforts by people “to redefine the very institution of marriage”.
As a result, many gay people in Bay Area feel the Church has turned its back on them, and for right reason. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has shown immunity to the city’s traditionally progressive LGBT stance, most recently with a new staff handbook for Archdiocesan high schools that declare gay sex, along with adultery and masturbation, as “gravely evil.”
But it’s a different story in San Jose, where St. Julie Billiart Church holds a special “all are welcome” mass each week complete with a LGBT ministry.