Lecturing people about not becoming parents is never a great idea, but it’s even more absurd when you’re the celibate leader of a religion that has consistently made efforts to prevent LGBTQ+ people from adopting children in need.

But that’s still what Pope Francis recently opted to do while speaking at the Vatican, specifically calling out people who choose to have pets “instead” of children, as if it’s truly an either/or scenario. “Today, we see a form of selfishness.

We see that some people do not want to have children, or just one and no more,” he said. “And many, many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one — but they have two dogs, two cats… Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children.” He also insisted that the “denial of fatherhood and motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity.” “[And] it is the country that suffers,” he claimed.