Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On Rabbits and Breeding.

I believe the majority of my followers are single and significantly younger than my 30 years. Even so, I think that there are some married folks closer to my age who also follow, so I'm writing this in hopes that it reaches some other "old" people like me.

I just wanted to say that I'm really sorry if the reference to the stereotype of the irresponsible Catholic parents being "like rabbits" and having more kids than they "should" that the Pope referenced in his interview, even if it has been taken out of context, hurt you. It seems to me that His Holiness was perhaps a bit tired from his trip, and thus he was less concise and pastoral than usual. Even if he meant no harm, I can see how this would be very painful to hear coming from a Pope and also how it would bring up old and perpetual wounds.

We do have a definite social bias against large families in America. I can't speak for other countries, but I know we do here. Even being pregnant with only my fourth, I get a lot of questioning eyebrows and shocked expressions. For example, some of my husband's coworkers recently found out that I am once again pregnant, so one remarked to him, "You need to leave that girl alone!" as a joke. It isn't outright offensive, and I tend not to get hurt by it, but I can see that there is definitely a sense that people with large families have no sense of self-control sexually, and they are looked down upon because of it. My understanding is that having five or more children gets many, many more off color remarks.

Even if Pope Francis said nothing unorthodox and simply conveyed the teachings of the Church, albeit it in a bit of a clumsy manner, I completely and totally understand your feelings. I can only imagine how people are going to take the words of Pope Francis and use them to hurt people who they think in their unerring wisdom are being irresponsible and having "too many" kids. I know the truth, though. I know that the grand majority of you discerned that you are physically, financially, and emotionally stable enough to have as many as possible unless your circumstances greatly change. I know you can handle it. I know you are not being irresponsible. Even if I use NFP, you have my total and complete support. Please remember when others try to bring you down that many of us completely and totally trust you.

Please also remember to try to forgive Pope Francis. He obviously did not mean to give people ammo to berate you with. He's asked us to pray for him from day one. He knows he isn't a perfect man. Let's pray for him. I'll try to remember to keep all of you in my prayers as well. I can only imagine how lonely it is to live in such a radically counter-cultural way. Please also try to pray for me.

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