Pope Francis ruffled more than a few feathers in early January when he spoke about people prioritizing having pets over children. Now, Chelsea Handler has a humorous rebuttal to the religious figure’s suggestion that she shared on her Instagram page.
Posting an Instagram Reel, she smiled into the camera while adding text next to her face. “Me: I choose a life that is child-free and I feel fulfilled.” She then switched to an image of Pope Francis and noted how she felt about his statement with a zinger about his hypocrisy. “Pope Francis, a lifelong celibate: ‘The choice not to have children is selfish.’ ” And she reminded her followers in the caption, “Living the dream.”
Pope Francis noted his frustration earlier this year in a speech at the Vatican that many Catholics were choosing to raise cats and dogs over children. “Today … we see a form of selfishness. We see that some people do not want to have a child,” he said, via The Guardian. “Sometimes they have one, and that’s it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of children. This may make people laugh but it is a reality.” And he explained that “a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity” and eventually it is “the country that suffers” because there is a loss in “the richness of fatherhood and motherhood.”
Handler certainly isn’t the only Hollywood celebrity choosing a child-free life (think Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston), but it’s a reminder that parenthood should be a choice. Pope Francis’ words only cut right into the reproductive rights movement that is being fought in some states. Women want the right to choose, and that choice falls on both sides of the spectrum — deciding to have a family or not is very personal. Handler is pointing out the Pope’s posturing on the hot topic, especially when he’s a child-free man… by choice.
Before you go, click here to see celebrities who have opened up about not having kids.