Pope Francis condemns couples without children as ‘selfish’

According to Pope Francis, any couple who choose not to have children is “selfish”.

The Pope made the statement at his general audience in St Peter’s Square. It has already been condemned as controversial.

“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,” he said.

“The choice to not have children is selfish. Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: It is enriched, not impoverished.”

He spoke mainly of children, and families , saying there was a strong link between “inter-generational harmony” and societal hope.

Speaking of a childhood memory of his mother, he said: “She would say, ‘I have five children like I have five fingers. If they beat one of my fingers, all five hurt. All of my children are mine, but each one is different.'”

Pope Francis last week gave his blessing to a referendum that would ban marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples in Slovakia.

Last month, Pope Francis attacked same-sex marriage, saying those who support it are attempting “redefine the very institution of marriage”.