If he’s not ticking off conservatives, he’s ticking off woke liberals. In a recent sermon on St. Joseph, our dear Pontifex said that not wanting kids was selfish. He even went so far as to include “humor,” deriding those who use pets as surrogate children.
True, it is selfish. The Lord explicitly asks us to get busy (Gen 1.28) and developed nations are today facing severely low birth rates. Western Catholics are not producing enough children to overcome millenial ennui and disillusionment with the Faith (Thank heaves for the rest of the world). Have we become too adept at the ol’ “rhythm method?” Or have we been breaking natural law with latex? Either way, the Pope is right to be concerned about demographics.
However, I think we need to accept that parenthood is simply not for everyone (see: my family). Career-minded Catholics ought to be able to contribute to the Glory of the God’s Creation in other ways besides procreation. Self-interest is important for individual and social well-being, and it’s simply wrong to imply that people who don’t parent are “less human.” There are other ways to find meaning in life besides cranky, waddling money pits and disease vectors. Children are cute and full of personality but they are also disgusting. Worse, after the cute years they depreciate very quickly into overall disappointments who spend your hard-earned money on meme stocks.
And to put it more bluntly, Catholic clergy haven’t much of a leg to stand on when it comes to procreation. “Hanky-panky for thee, not for me.” Say what you will about Protestant clergymen, they at least put in the work (sperm).
Francis would be less of a hypocrite if he got around to changing the unsexy parts of Canon Law. Such reforms are generally popular, and could mitigate our clerical shortages. We already know there are thousands of horny clergy out there. Wouldn’t it be nice to direct those energies toward consenting adults for a change?