Archbishop Socrates Villegas clears curious confusion about Pope Francis’ rabbit remark

Thou shalt not rabbit

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( On Wednesday, CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas spoke to the media about Pope Francis’ remark on breeding like rabbits and Catholicism. The message seemed clear, which is for people to think of a child’s future before making one (or seven). It’s more helpful than harmful, but it made a handful of people uneasy, necessitating an interpretation of sorts.


The report by Philippine Star on Archbishop Villegas’ decoding of the fuzzy message included a verbatim transcript of Pope Francis’ interview from which the quote was derived:



Although stern on the matter of contraceptives, Pope Francis’ words indicate that he understands the complexity of finance and family. According to Archbishop Villegas, the Pontiff was merely concerned with Catholics who adapt the "Come what may!" approach to having children. He said, "The Pope never made the rather unseemly remark that Catholics breed like rabbits. What the Pope did say was that some Catholics mistakenly believe that to be Catholic, we ought to breed like rabbits-and prior to using that simile, he knew that it was harsh and so said ’excuse the expression’-but it was apt and it brought home the point."


He added, "Births should be planned rationally by both parents who must always remain open to new life, but who must also take into consideration their physical, financial and emotional capacity to raise children."

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