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Friday, January 14, 2022

6 questions for Pope Francis

6 questions for Pope Francis, who may benefit from adopting a pet

As a theologian and a veterinarian, Lisa Fullam of Santa Clara University has some questions for Pope Francis regarding his recent admonition of people who replace children with pets, saying there is "a form of selfishness" in couples deciding to have just one child and that this "is a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity."

"Oh, for heaven's sake," Fullam writes. "The pope did get one thing right: parenthood can provide 'something fundamental, something important' in people's lives. (I say this as a non-parent.) Like marriage, parenthood can be a school of virtue."

"Perhaps the pope would do better to go visit an animal shelter, and ask himself whether he's ready to take on the responsibility of a puppy or a kitten — especially since he's ruled out taking on responsibility for a partner or children," Fullam adds.

Read more of Fullam's essay here.

More background:

  • NCR contributor Flora x. Tang says Francis' view that couples who choose not to have children are selfish shows the church's failure to acknowledge life-giving vocations of people who serve in ways other than childbirth or adoption.


Why following conservative Catholic money is more critical than ever

NCR's main story on the day of the first anniversary of the attack on the Capitol was not explicitly about the events of Jan. 6, 2021, although there is a connection, points out NCR executive editor Heidi Schlumpf. It was a report from staff reporter Brian Fraga about how right-wing Catholic organizations have received millions of dollars from a "dark money" fund called Donors Trust.

"This type of investigative report is just the latest in what has become regular fare on our pages: the attempt to bring some light to the connections among conservative Catholic individuals and organizations, and the sources of their often-extravagant funding," Schlumpf writes.

And given the continuing assaults on our democratic institutions, Schlumpf explains why NCR will continue to follow the money.

Read more of Schlumpf's column here.

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