Pope backtracks after ‘like rabbits’ comment

2015-01-21 15:51
Pope Francis holds his weekly general audience at the Aula Paolo VI hall at the Vatican City. (Andreas Solaro, AFP)

Pope Francis holds his weekly general audience at the Aula Paolo VI hall at the Vatican City. (Andreas Solaro, AFP)

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Vatican City - Pope Francis praised families with many children on Wednesday, two days after controversially suggesting that Catholics do not need to breed "like rabbits”.

"It gives solace and hope to see so many large families who welcome children as a true gift from God," Francis said in his weekly general audience.

He was talking about a meeting with Filipino families he had during last week's trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, during which he also reiterated the Catholic Church's opposition to artificial contraceptives.

"I have heard some say that families with many children and the birth of many children are among the causes of poverty. I think it is a simplistic opinion," the pontiff said on Wednesday.

He said the culprit was an unjust global economic order which puts money before human beings, and "creates the throwaway culture in which we live in. This is the main reason for poverty, not large families”.

On Monday, Francis was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA: "Some people believe that to be good Catholics, we need to be like rabbits."

Speaking on the plane back from Manila, the pontiff instead pointed to the principle of "responsible fatherhood", recalling that he recently scolded a woman in a church who was expecting her eighth child after undergoing seven Caesarean births.

Read more on:    pope francis  |  vatican city  |  religion
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