Dear Pope Francis,

No, I don’t have kids.

And after hearing the words you spoke yesterday, “Couples who choose not to have children are “selfish”. I thought to myself, “Do others view me that way too…Selfish?” “Am I a part of the “greedy generation” that you spoke of?”

I’ve always made my own choices in my life. I’ve lived my life to the fullest and I have appreciated every blessing that I have been given.

People may be envious of my life. I have a career that I love, I enjoy my free time, I love vacationing, I adore my husband, I love my adopted pups, I love buying the newest technology, I love spoiling my nieces and nephews, I love sleeping in. I just really do love my life.

And it doesn’t include children.

And does that simply make me selfish?

Because, you see, the choice to have children or not have children…well, that wasn’t my choice. Not my choice at all.

It was decided for me.

I am unable to have children.

There is nothing more than I want in this world than, in your words Pope Francis, to “rejuvenate and enrich my life with children”

Nothing more.

I would give ALL of my “selfish” and “greedy” things up to have a child.

ALL of it.

Does that still make me “selfish” Pope Francis?

You see, making such a generalized statement saying that, “Couples not having children are selfish” is just really quite heedless.

Because, what about us? Those that have done everything humanly possible to create a child.

Years of fertility treatments, countless needles being stabbed into our bodies, multiple surgeries, bank accounts drained, emotions of multiple miscarriages, hope stolen…praying to God every day….dreams of a family…well, just that….dreams.

Now, after hearing you speak, others may view me as “selfish”. Just another reminder of what I don’t have.

So, thank you, Pope Francis.

You see, because sometimes, not having a child is the exact opposite of being selfish.

It’s selfless.

The women who have gone through infertility are some of the MOST selfless people I have ever encountered and I encourage you to reach out to them.

Selfish and Selfless….two words, that are similar in spelling but very different in meaning.

Kind of like those couples without children.

But really, who are we to judge?

Right Pope Francis?

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*Photo credit:Β Andrew Medichini/AP*

0 comment on An Open Letter To Pope Francis: “I Don’t Have Children, So I’m Selfish?”

  1. Let’s also not forget the church’s stance on ART! They’re not exactly fans of using science to make babies. It’s not the first time a Pope has put his holy foot in his mouth, and it certainly won’t be the last.

    • Thanks Molly..I know…but my response to that is….God created ART! He created it for us to use…to help us through this nightmare of not being able to procreate on our own….anyways, I could go on but it just got to me today…like we need to Pope to start judging us along with everyone else..right? xoxo

    • Yep…pretty sure that’s what he was saying. Blows my mind too…but most of all the “shaming” and using the word “selfish” about people and stories that he doesn’t even know…and preaching it for others to judge couple whom do not have children…that’s what got to me..xoxo

  2. Your post made me tear up. You’re absolutely right. What he said was totally ignorant of that portion of the population who doesn’t have kids, but has done absolutely everything humanly possible to have children, including praying to God every day that some miracle will occur and we will be able to have children. He needs to keep his mouth shut on what he obviously doesn’t understand.

    • Thanks TTCGirl…made me sad too. But obviously, he wasn’t thinking about the millions of infertile people in the world when he made that statement. I just thought he needed to be reminded…do not judge unless you have heard someone’s entire story…that’s all. Our miracle will come…I believe..xoxo

    • People who can’t have chldren for medical reasons suffer enough without having this kind of slur against them. They don’t “choose” not to have children, but outsiders do not know that. What about those who are unmarried and not earning enough to raise a child alone? Would it be less selfish or more selfish to become a single parent and go on benefits in order to achieve their wishes? I didn’t have children either, but in my case it was because my dad died young and I had to become a carer for my sick mother. I missed the boat. Perhaps I should have abandoned my mother to make sure I got the family I wanted with all my heart? Would that have been less selfish of me? At school we were always told “Engage brain before opening mouth” Obviously, the Pope’s teachers didn’t tell him that.

    • I know Amie….Oh, how I wish it was our choice too πŸ™ But right now, I’m choosing to believe that I WILL have my child in my arms…a healthy child to call my own…and I’ll just keep believing it until it happens..xoxo

  3. Hi. I’m Catholic and infertile too. I am so sorry for your pain. As for the pope’s words, I think the key word is “choice”. We are not childless by choice. Of course we (and you) are not selfish. I understand the hurt and the rage, though. I’m 27 but I found out at 16 that I don’t have a uterus. Only way I can have a baby is through surrogacy. We’ve decided to follow church teaching and we plan on adopting, but getting to this point took years and years of overwhelming grief. I am so sorry you are going through so much pain. I’d be happy to talk anytime. <3

    • Thank you for reaching out Connieann. I grew up Catholic too and that’s what saddens me most is that I respect what Pope Francis preaches…and this just hurt my heart. I understand when you said, he stated”Couple who Choose to not have children” but the general public he was speaking to…they don’t understand that…they heard, “If you don’t have children, you are selfish” and that’s what upsets me most. I know you understand, having MRKH and I have some friends who were also born without a uterus and I couldn’t imagine getting that news at 16. You have gone through so much and I admire and respect your decision to adopt following the church teaching. What we have gone through is just not right…but you are right…we will get through it…appreciate your support and thank you again for your kind comment πŸ™‚ xoxo

  4. This was so beautiful and moving. Shame on the Pope for grouping people without children into a big huge category that doesn’t apply to millions of them. I find his stance ironic given that HE doesn’t have children…. But I guess, being the Pope, he’s exempt for being selfish. Ugh!

  5. I don’t think he meant you (or any of us who are infertile) as we are not childless by choice. That said, his statement is ignorant as there are a hundred different reasons for why couples choose to not have children and “selfishness” is not one of them. Frankly, when I look at the world I think that we’d all be better served if MORE people CHOSE not to have children. What’s far more selfish to me are people having children left, right and centre when they have no hope in the world of caring for them.

    I was also raised Catholic but frankly gave up a long time ago on listening to Church opinions on my reproductive system.

    • Thank you True Hugbo. I know he probably didn’t mean to include the infertility community….but he did because by saying that “Couples who choose to not have children are selfish”….how is the general public supposed to know who “chooses” to not have children and who simply is “unable” to have children and therefore live child free? That’s what upsets me…in the general public we are grouped together by not having children…and it is opposite…we would do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to have a child…so it’s really what he is preaching to the public…like a “self shaming” and “judging” remark that upset me more than anything…..thank you and I get it…just doesn’t make sense to me that the Catholic religion(or other religions at that too) don’t recognized the GOD created IVF and assisted reproduction! Hello…at least that’s my view and I’m stickin’ to it πŸ™‚ Thanks for your support…xoxo

  6. I didn’t hear his speech. But I hate how the whole of Catholicism doesn’t acknowledge those struggling with infertility. This is such a powerful letter. I wish more people would read it!

    • Thank you Jessah! I know, it is so very frustrating. And it’s more frustrating that he is preaching to people to “judge” others….that, to me is just not right or kind…because, as we all know….not everyone knows our story…and if they did, then maybe they would have a different opinion. Appreciate your support and I can’t wait to see that baby boy of yours in your arms very soon!!! xoxo

  7. It is sad that things like this are said that can be so hurtful. Most of it is due to ignorance because like you mention, anyone going through infertility treatments is far from selfish.

    One of the sweetest things said to me after we shared our story with everyone was this:
    “Your efforts to bring a child into this world are admirable and I’m sure noted by the Lord and His angels.” This applies 100% to you and is so much more appropriate than even considering putting you in the category of people that the Pope talk about.

    • Hi Jennifer! Yes, it is hurtful…because again, everyone does not know the story behind it all. And I don’t like that he is encouraging people to “judge” others for their choices OR for what they are just simply unable to do…bring a child into this world πŸ™
      I LOVE what your friend said…what a beautiful way to put it…one day(you sooner than me!) but we will both be holding our children and be on the “other side”…sad to put it that way…but I feel that…and even more when I have to read articles like the one I just mentioned….thank you for always supporting and encouraging me….gonna be a Mom some day…some how…it’s gonna happen πŸ™‚ xoxo

  8. Well church has never been “delicate” in this matters. Like with the mother’s days when in some churches the priest says that all the mother’s should stand up and they’re getting flowers…and what about those who can’t have kids? they don’t even think how does that make them feel. This is a good blog, keep up the good work. Best wishes from http://www.eggdonationfriends.com

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