Pope Francis, a symbol of tolerance, gave his approval to breastfeeding in public in an interview. PHOTO: Reuters
Now that we’ve moved past the biggies, like wealth disparity and gay rights, we can find out Pope Francis’ opinions on other topics: like breastfeeding in public. Well, for those anxiously waiting for the Pope to weigh in, wait no longer: Pope Francis is A-okay with breastfeeding in public.
Speaking with La Stampa, an Italian newspaper, Pope Francis sounded a note of both compassion and commonsense:
“At the Wednesday General Audience the other day there was a young mother behind one of the barriers with a baby that was just a few months old. The child was crying its eyes out as I came past. The mother was caressing it.”
“I said to her, ‘madam, I think the child’s hungry.’
“‘Yes, it’s probably time…’” she replied.
“‘Please give it something to eat!’” I said.
“She was shy and didn’t want to breast-feed in public, while the Pope was passing. I wish to say the same to humanity: give people something to eat! That woman had milk to give to her child; we have enough food in the world to feed everyone.”
So it’s actually a double call to action: breastfeed in public and feed the hungry. The Pope’s right: there’s enough food for everyone. With this story he subtly points out the stigma against giving food to hungry people.
One wonders if Pope Benedict is jealous that no one ever asked him about public breastfeeding.