I find Pope Francis to be a refreshing wind of change in the Catholic Church and agree with many of the changes he has planned for the coming years, but I have to disagree with his recent assessment on breast-feeding during mass.
According to a recent article in Church Leaders, the pontiff encouraged women to breast-feed in sacred places.
My response is, “What in heck are you talking about, Papa?”
I don’t mind a woman breast-feeding, after all it is a natural and beautiful occurrence — but there is a time and place for it.
And in church isn’t one of those times or places. Natural it might be, but so is peeing, and you don’t do that when you kneel in the pew.
If you want your child to have breast milk, and you know you are going out for the day, you can express your milk at home, put it in a bottle, and have it ready to nurse your little one at the first sign of hunger. If an emergency should arise and you don’t have a bottle prepared, then have the common courtesy to pick yourself up and move to a more secluded area.
Feeding an infant is a very natural part of life, but so is burping, passing wind, and other bodily eliminations, and you don’t see a whole bunch of that going on in church, do you? Or for that matter, in restaurants, movie theaters, or public locations?
Look, I’m not unsympathetic to motherhood. I’m a mother myself. I took my daughter to many places, including Sunday mass, when she was an infant. But I made sure she was either fed before we left, or, if she did fuss, I excused myself and walked to the crying room. If the church didn’t have a crying room, I went to the back where we would not be a disturbance to the other parishioners.
It is a simple concept really — called respect and courtesy.
Call me old-fashioned, but I just don’t think that whipping out your breast in the middle of mass or in any other public forum is the right thing to do, no matter how natural it all is.
Not for Nuthin™, before all you natural breast-feeding zealots jump down my throat, but I feel the same way about changing a baby’s diapers and all those other natural human functions we do. There is a time for every natural function under heaven, just not during mass. I say, let us keep those natural moments private, shall we?
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