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January 13th, 2014
12:00 PM ET

Breastfeeding in church? Pope says yes

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - Amid the iconic art in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, Pope Francis told mothers that it's acceptable to breastfeed their children in public, even in holy sites like churches.

Children's voices, even when crying, make "the most beautiful choir of all," Francis said during a service in which he baptized 32 children.

"Some will cry because they are uncomfortable or because they are hungry," the Pope said. "If they are hungry, mothers, let them eat, no worries, because here, they are the main focus."

The Sistine Chapel, with its famous frescoes by Michelangelo, is the official chapel of the Apostolic Palace, traditionally the papal residence. Francis, though, lives in the Vatican guesthouse, Casa Santa Marta, saying it better suits his low-key style.

The Pope's remarks echo statements he made to an Italian newspaper in December in which he tied breastfeeding to the problem of global hunger.

At a recent General Audience - or public appearance by the Pope - a young mother sat behind a screen with her crying infant, Francis told La Stampa.

"I said to her: 'Madam, I think the child’s hungry. ... Please give it something to eat!' " the Pope said.

"She was shy and didn’t want to breastfeed in public, while the Pope was passing," he continued. "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."

Emer McCarthy, a journalist at Vatican Radio, told Catholic News Service that she breastfed her daughter discreetly during Sunday's baptism ceremony. "Who would have thought the Pope would be this great proponent?" she said.

Breastfeeding in public, particularly in sacred sites such as churches, remains a sensitive issue for families, as noted by a recent Religion News Service article.

A blog post on "Five Places Moms Need to Breastfeed Discreetly" listed churches as No. 5, following public pools, restaurants, airplanes and sporting events.

"It's wonderful when moms want to bring the kids to church and nurture their faith early on," wrote blogger Mary Fischer. "But a coverup is a necessity with a baby in tow. Do I really have to elaborate here?"

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Church • Ethics • Faith & Health • Food • gender issues • Health • Houses of worship • Mass • Pope Francis • Sacred Spaces • Women

soundoff (1,126 Responses)
  1. Reality # 2

    Francis can "baptize" all the babies he wants and he can keep appointing cardinals, it will not change the following:

    1. There was no physical resurrection (i.e. Heaven is a Spirit State- as-summing there is one)

    2. And it therefore follows there was no ascension and no assumption.

    3. There is/was no original sin. A&E were fictional characters living in mythical land.

    4. And it therefore follows, baptism does not erase original sin since there is no sin to erase. Limbo therefore is a non-issue.

    5. Jesus was crucified but details of the deed have little historic verification.

    Added details available upon request.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
    • wkb2texans

      Reality bites ....

      January 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
    • omo

      How about you get crucified and lets see if anyone will remember you thousands of years later.

      January 13, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        As requested:

        From Professors Crossan and Watts book, Who is Jesus????

        “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety. I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

        January 13, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
  2. mzh

    O people, an example is presented, so listen to it. Indeed, those you invoke besides Allah will never create [as much as] a fly, even if they gathered together for that purpose. And if the fly should steal away from them a [tiny] thing, they could not recover it from him. Weak are the pursuer and pursued. – Al Quran 22:73

    It is He who created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot; then He brings you out as a child; then [He develops you] that you reach your [time of] maturity, then [further] that you become Elders (old age)And among you is he who is taken in death before [that], so that you reach a specified term; and perhaps you will think. – 40:67

    O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it, its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. – 4:1

    Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are arrogant and boastful. – 4:36

    O mankind! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily! We have created you (i.e. Adam) from dust, then from a Nutfah (mixed drops of male and female discharge i.e. offspring of Adam), then from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood) then from a little lump of flesh, some formed and some unformed (miscarriage), that We may make (it) clear to you. And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants, then (give you growth) that you may reach your age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down water (rain) on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth). – 22:5

    Every soul will taste death (NO EXCEPTION), and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. – 3:185

    Peace...

    January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Talk about suffering from the Three B Syndrome, Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam !!!

      mzh, please address the horrors and terror of your religion brought about because of the following koranic passages:

      http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/005.asp et al
      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
      o
      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

      "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:29-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

      January 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • Mopery

        Muhammad was the offspring of a goat and a camel. He licked clean the hairy anuses of his male followers, and begged them to issue forth their frothing seed into his throat. Allah verga!

        January 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • sly

          Allah is the same God y'all Christians and Catholics and Jews worship.

          That's the funniest part of godsters – they ridicule other godsters, even though they are all 99.99999% identical.

          Us non-godsters sure get a laugh at that one. Kinda like the Miami Cubans always putting down black folks – just makes you want to laugh out loud.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • igaftr

      You'll never get into Valhalla with that at!tude.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
      • Spirit Of Truth

        Amen to that comrade

        January 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
      • mzh

        My friend igaftr:

        I do not have any power over anyone but to let one know what is there as a reminder... one makes his/her own choice... there is no compulsion in accepting religion...

        Peace my friend...

        January 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • visitor

          Thank Goddess in her wisdom for that! Otherwise, some meathead might require me to wear a blanket on my head and sheets over my body because my hair and skin are just too distracting for the empty headed meathead to function.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • igaftr

          "there is no compulsion in accepting religion"

          You have not been on this planet long, have you.
          The christians for a very long time had the "convert or die" at!tude, and the Muslims have it in your filthy book that infidels must die how many times? I count over a hundred ( it doesn't necessarliy say YOU need to kill them, but YOUR god demands it of his "angels" and there is a great deal taught in MANY muslim countires that America is the great satan, and needs be destroyed. Silliness on high.

          No matter how much you claim Islam is a religion of peace, the history of it is VERY different.

          What kind of religion would believe that a young woman gets ra.p.ed...that it is somehow a stain on HER, and she then just needs to marry the ra.p.ist and all will be well. (resulting in a great deal of young women killing themselves to get out of the abuse YOUR religion says is good.)

          Answer? Both christianity AND Islam and is still practiced in Morocco.
          Your religion is just as horrible as the others.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Buy mzh were you ever given a choice to leave Islam? Do you dare? Obviously, you were born into it. Might want to consider leaving as-suming you can avoid being stoned to death. The easy set of deprogramming steps has been given to you many times.

          January 13, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • mzh

          @Visitor

          No one is forcing you to do anything V… even in Muslim community, not every woman does it… and they get away from their own and follow western by being undressed…

          What about Catholic Nans? Why do they cover themselves entirely? You do not have any issue with them but you have issue with Muslim dress, hah?

          Let me give you an example:

          A woman walks on the street by half open and another woman walks with Islamic dress by covering herself… who has more chance to be disturbed by men? Unless you want to send a message to men by showing up… its up to you V…

          I have read somewhere on the wall of a house and it says, “if undressing is the civilization then animals are the most civilized person in the face of earth”

          Please do not get me wrong… I am not here to criticize anyone or any actions… one can do whatever makes him/her feel happy by using ‘free will’ as there is no compulsion in it at least from Islamic point of view…

          Peace be upon you!!!

          January 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • mzh

          @ igaftr

          I have been on this planet for long enough I would say…

          Islam never allows violence… period my friend… you have been in wrong place to learn about Islam… I would suggest you to learn Islam from someone who knows Islam and not from people like Reality # 2… like you wouldn’t go to a mechanic for your soar throat… same you should go to the one who knows about it and guide you in right way… please listen carefully and not with your arrogance my friend…

          Let me tell you something my friend, please go and meet the reverted American in your next door or the person sits next to you or you cross when you walk… it would be easy for woman as you will see while American with blue eyes wearing hijab… and ask yourself why did they reverted… or ask them and see what they say… if it was spreaded by force then why they do not go back…

          What you said that is not only in Morocco, it is happening all over the world and regardless of faith… do you know how many domestic violence is taking place in every hour in this country USA? do you know how many daughters are being pregnent by father? and many more...

          People do wrong thing does not mean the book says it to do… in general human (regardless of faith) are greedy of power, money, physical pleasure and so on…

          I find you very intelligent and I ask Allah The Lord Almighty to open your heart so that you can see it my friend…

          Peace!!!

          January 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • mzh

          @ Reality # 2

          Yes of course I have been given choices to leave Islam and no one is forcing me to be a Muslim… I am Muslim because I want to be a Muslim with my own choice but not by force

          Why are you what are you now? You were not born with what you are not and that I am sure… its your choice that you made my friend… no one has forced you to be what you are…

          Most of the people know the truth but they do not want to accept the truth… for example a man goes to a little idol ask for favor prior to go to meeting at his work and he knows that this little piece of metal has not power even to move itself but still that intelligent person go and do it…

          I wish and hope you would learn the reason behind those verses that you always post and also you should know the way the quran was being reveled…

          I only ask The Lord Almighty to open your heart as you have lot of potential gifts the you can help other human…

          Peace my friend!!!

          January 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
    • Mopery

      Allah verga!

      January 13, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • mzh

        May Allah The Almighty bless you my friend Mopery...

        Peace!!!

        January 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
  3. MattD

    In every church I have been in there is a soundproof room where adults can take their kids if they cry or make too much noise. That's a good place for woman to take her infant if it may need nursing during services. I understand this may to be a luxury everywhere, but again this is much ado about nothing. There is nothing wrong with nursing in public, or in a church. Regardless, it is a naturally sensitive issue for all parties since nursing is intimacy. Normal women, contrasted to those who like to make a spectacle of their motherhood, feel natural modesty since they don't like to be the center of attention. Most others feel no offense to a woman nursing, but if they happen to notice it happening will normally make a mental note to themselves not to look that away again! Not out of embarrassment, but to afford the woman a certain degree of privacy. And of course the woman is aware of that, and may feel apprehensive about that tension. Certainly the woman would not want others staring, and at the same time does not want to interfere with others' routine.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  4. Lawrence of Arabia

    We gather in a church for the single purpose of worshipping God, and anything that may distract others from that purpose needs to be removed.

    Our church has a room in the back of the sanctuary that has a large 2-way mirror that folks can sit in and hear and see the service and take care of whatever business they need – like feeding a baby.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • igaftr

      I find being around other people to be distracting...solve that one Sherlock.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Ummm, therapy?

        January 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • igaftr

          I do not need therapy because I am a people watcher. People distract me. They always have. It is not something that I focus on nor is it something that has any negative effects, so not only is the behavior normal, but easy to ignore, but still by your "logic" If I wanted to "worship god" everyone else would have to leave. Ridiculous.

          Are you trying to say YOU do not have the self control to concentrate on why YOU are there and not stare at a woman who is feeding her child? Sounds more like a YOU problem than anything, so therapy just might be in order....for you.

          January 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      wouldn't want to distract from the religious brainwashing...

      January 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • ME II

      @Lawrence of Arabia,
      Is that why Jesus supposedly said to pray in a closet and not in public?

      January 13, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        No... He was contrasting the proper way to pray against the hypocritical Pharasees who wished to receive praises from men for their elaborate prayers...

        January 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • I AM

      Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven

      January 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        You have to give credit to whoever thought up that line... don't turn away children, they're not smart enough to realize we're lying to them and they will be our future sheep we can fleece...

        January 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
    • ME II

      If you are distracted by breastfeeding then perhaps you aren't worshiping properly in the first place

      January 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        The flaunted nudity of warped naturalists or the perverted nudity of por.nographers or rock singers or movie actors may be called freedom or a return to nature and innocence, but in reality it is not, because one cannot recover innocence in this life. (Romans 7:14-25) Rather, it merely parades the victory of the flagrant sinner over reasonable shame.

        In the same way, public nakedness is shameful because it incites lust, and se.xual sin is rooted in desire (the imagination of a sinful act), as implied in Exodus 20:17 and addressed by Christ in Matthew 5:28. And anyone that tells you that he can look at a naked woman with absolutely no se.xual thoughts is like the man who says that he reads Playboy just for the articles…

        January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • I AM

          I have never seen a woman get naked to breast feed her child.

          January 13, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Nudity, in and of itself is not sexual or lustful. In a culture where nudity is the norm, it is the accessory or clothing that attracts attention.

          Further, your inability to control your own lustful thoughts in no way impacts my right to wear (or not wear) what I choose.

          January 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • igaftr

          LoA
          "In the same way, public nakedness is shameful because it incites lust"

          You clearly do not know what you are talking about.
          MANY things are capable of causing lust. Muslim women forced to wear the burka....their eyes inspire lust, when the men finally see them natural, it is like forbidden fruit and exciting all the more. When you remove that silly modesty about the human body, you remove the lust, but never entirely...it is the single strongest feeling in the body.
          If you are going to try to fight against lust, then you need to be blind, deaf, ramove your sense of smell and touch....otherwise, you are fighting NATURE and thereby fighting a battle that you have already lost.

          On the other hand, learn to control yourself, and this becomes a non-issue.

          January 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • visitor

          Wow buddy, dial it back. I think you actually need to witness some breastfeeding if you are getting all excited over it. Creepy.....

          January 13, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Nudity, in and of itself is not se.xual or lustful."
          --------
          I agree, but the statement does require qualification. In short, if nudity is outside of that within the confines of a godly marriage, then it's sinful.

          "In a culture where nudity is the norm, it is the accessory or clothing that attracts attention."
          --------–
          That may be so, but I have yet to speak to a man who honestly tells me that he has zero se.xual thoughts when he sees nudity. That's why the Bible is so full of pa.ss.ages that tell us to "flee for.nication..." "flee youthful lusts..." etc... You don't give them chance to take root, you flee from them.

          "Further, your inability to control your own lustful thoughts in no way impacts my right to wear (or not wear) what I choose."
          ---------
          Maybe not in secular society, but in a church, where the governance is determined by the Bible, the elders have a right to tell you what you can and cannot wear, and what you can or cannot do.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "...in a church, where the governance is determined by the Bible, the elders have a right to tell you what you can and cannot wear, and what you can or cannot do."

          Ah, so it is determined by the elders of the church, which is the Pope for Catholics right?

          January 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Ah, so it is determined by the elders of the church, which is the Pope for Catholics right?"
          ------–
          No, I said it was determined by the Bible. The elders merely carry it out as their duty.
          For Catholics? I don't know, the Pope doesn't do a whole lot according the Bible, so I can't speak for him.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • Dash

          Breastfeed a child is not flaunting nudity, LoA, and it is a function that God intended when He created woman. Unless you are saying that God DIDNT design women that way.

          If you are getting turned on by breastfeeding, and there ate some men that are, admit it as YOUR shortcoming, and not the women's.

          As far as I know, there is nothing prohibiting breastfeed in the Bible.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "No, I said it was determined by the Bible"

          And the Bible states this where?

          January 13, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          The way he talks, I suspect that Larry has not been hard since the Reagan administration (the first one).....even then, it was beause of Nancy. Tell us Larry, it won't go any further.....when she said "just say no to drugs", did you spill your seed?

          January 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
    • Sven Moshen

      Jesus was breastfed.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • MrApplesauce

      Stop being a 12 year old and getting distracted by breasts. As a Christian, you should accept that those things were put there by God to feed babies.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        HOT CHOCOLATE – You Sexy Thing '76

        January 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
    • ME II

      @Lawrence of Arabia,
      What exactly is your basis for requiring undistracted worship?

      January 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        So, if someone turned around to talk to you during a congregational sing and tried to sell you a car, you wouldn't have a problem with that? That tells me that his mind isn't on God, and he's forcing your mind away from thoughts of God.

        January 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          Selling cars is hardly analogous to a baby breastfeeding, which shouldn't distract you at all, unless you're not paying attention to the service yourself. (or the kid is an exceptionally noisy eater.)

          In addition, you didn't answer the question.

          January 13, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • igaftr

          LoA
          Is the woman breast feeding tapping yuo on the shoulder and offering you some? If not your point is moot.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          igaftr,
          Just because something is natural doesn't mean it should be open for all to see.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • igaftr

          LoA
          Have you ever seen a woman breastfeeding. Basically, you see a woman sittng very quietly, minding her child, the child nursing quietly.

          You sound like YOU need to learn to control YOURSELF. Don't stare at the woman, but if you do talk with her, look into her eyes.

          I am hetero$exual, and have been around many breastfeeding mothers. There is nothing $exual about it in the slightest, unless YOU make it so. Learn to control your own self, and let the child have its nourishment. I have never seen something so tnder as a mother nursing her child, and it lifts my spirit when I see something so beautiful. Why you would want to hide such beauty can only be explained by the ridiculous teaching from your mis-interpretted book.

          I feel sorry for you that because YOU can't control yourself, you would push YOUR idea of what is right on people that are not only not doing anything wrong, but expressing love, and bonding with a child, giving that child nourishment. How anyone could see that as either disgusting or $exual is beyond me.

          Sounds like YOU really need to put your book down, and spend some time with people ( and not clergy)
          Your viewon this is so contrary to human nature, it is astounding.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        MEII,
        Undistracted prayer and worship is the Biblical model...

        "Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray'" (Matthew 26:36). "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35). "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:16).

        Philippians 4: 8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

        Furthermore, a preacher's sermon is in essence a lecture in expository preaching. And if the lecture is filled with distractions, many will not get much out of it.

        January 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          If you follow those examples, Mark and Luke, then you wouldn't be in Church, you would alone and still.

          What about a mother nourishing her child is not "true, ... noble, ... right, ... pure, ... lovely, ... [and] admirable"?

          As for the preacher's sermon, perhaps one on the 'purpose of life' or 'be fruitful and multiply' would be in order. Also, if the sermon cannot withstand the assault of a suckling baby, then perhaps the sermon is in need of its own nourishment.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          MEII,
          Who are you to judge what goes on inside the church anyway? It doesn't concern you. That would be like me telling you what you can or can't serve at your own dinner table...

          January 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia
          "Who are you to judge what goes on inside the church anyway?"

          I do not mean to have stepped out of my place,( /sarcasm )
          Obviously I have touched a nerve. However, I would pose the same question to you on your right to judge how others worship in their churches. Are you Catholic? Are you the Pope?

          January 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
    • Jayakumar

      ONly distracting for perverts. For most people, it is the most serene thing to watch. After all, children are sinless and hence the closest to god, and hence I dont think God will object to that least of all you. If you feel distracted by a mother feeding her baby, dont come to church. It is the place for you.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
    • H.S.

      Humans are the only mammal that drink the milk of another mammal (cows, goats, sheep, etc.). The milk from mammals is meant to feed and give nutrition to an infant where lack of the ability to eat is evident.

      I don't understand how people feel it's natural to drink the milk of another mammal, but it's somehow "gross" to see a woman breastfeeding in public. To me, it's a beautiful thing. If you don't like seeing public breastfeeding, it's YOU with the problem. Others should not be inconvenienced because you cannot properly deal with your problem.

      January 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
  5. sparky

    we'll see what Rush Limbaugh has to say about this!!!

    January 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
  6. Tired of the manna from heaven? Have a wafer to feast on.

    x
    x
    🙂

    January 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
  7. magicpanties

    "... nurture their faith early on ..."

    Breastfeeding is nurturing, but the rest? That's just brainwashing.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • TheThinker

      haters gonna hate. Maybe your mom should have brought you to church/temple more.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "haters gonna hate" 13 year old girls on the Belief (actually any) Blog should be banned.

        January 13, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  8. oneSTARman

    In the time of Jesus – Children were barely tolerated and were NOT a Protected Class like they are today; but JESUS held them in such high regard that he REBUKED his Disciples who tried to keep the children from 'Bothering' Him. He taught that NONE would enter the Kingdom unless they became as little children.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Allegedly

      January 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Mathew 15:21-28
      21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
      22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
      23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
      24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
      25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
      26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
      27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
      28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

      hmmm... jesus doesn't seem so compa.ssionate to children in this story. making a woman, who's daughter only you can help, call her entire race "dogs" before you will help is disgusting and inhumane. but of course once jesus hears the woman call herself a dog ready begging for scraps, he cures the little girl and tells the woman she is worthy. seems pretty cruel to me.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
  9. Dewey L.

    Heaven forbid a young kid who could be watching learns what a breast is really for!!!

    January 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
  10. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Headline: Pope says there's nothing wrong with boobies... says he wouldn't mind seeing some schöne Ärsche either...

    January 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
  11. Brian

    That's the least of the worries the Catholic church should have.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      naked women have always been a top priority for the church.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Correction: nek'id boys have always been their top priority... not liking nek'id women is a secondary priority

        January 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • neoritter

      I didn't read or see any indication that this was noted as a high priority issue.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  12. Brian

    Who actually needed or asked his permission?

    January 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      catholics

      January 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
    • neoritter

      He's the head of the Catholic Church and the direct issue was breast feeding in the Sistine Chapel. Kind of obvious here.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
  13. snomannn

    Some women are just shy or uncomfortable nursing their infant in a group or public setting. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the mother. Please consider a private area for these moms. Trust me, it will be better for the baby too.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      or everyone can just get over it. it's breastfeeding. it's one breast semi-exposed in public. big deal. really.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • MattD

        I imagine you are gay or barren, and will never have to make such a decision anyway. So shut up.

        January 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          So a person's ability or desire to produce a child affects whether or not they can have an opinion on a subject regarding children?

          January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "Christian Love" LOL

          January 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          lol.
          i'm straight - but what does that have to do with it?
          straight or g.ay, a man can't breastfeed.
          try making sense.

          January 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • ME II

      Why would the baby care?

      January 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • Courtney

      Better for the baby? In what way exactly? I don't think my child ever cared where we were when he was hungry, he just wanted to eat.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
  14. Tea Party Patriot

    Hmmmmmm... another controversy that only Sarah Palin can unravel for us. I anxiously await her feedback.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    But feeding the hungry will cause them to become dependent !! Well, Jesus said,"Feed them yourselves" Matthew 14,17. Maybe Jesus is WRONG ? "Every word I speak comes from the Father John 12,49.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      breast feeding stations for the poor... i like it.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  16. Bootyfunk

    exposed boo.bies in church? that might make me go again...

    January 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
  17. Bug S Bunny

    In a Catholic Church? Are you kidding? But if beastfeeding is allowed, can I also eat MY breakfast in church?

    January 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • Bets

      Are you six weeks old?

      January 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • rick

      I'll have what the kids having please

      January 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
    • PrincessBride

      Would you refuse to allow a parent to bottle-feed a hungry baby in church?

      January 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • neoritter

      No, but that's because of a different reason. I'm assuming you're at least 8-10 years old and are a practicing Catholic. In order to take the Eucharist you must have fasted prior to consuming it. So eating your breakfast in Church wouldn't be allowed for that reason. I'm also assuming you're doing this before the Eucharist is offered, because if you weren't I'd wonder why you couldn't wait 10 minutes to go get something to eat.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
  18. Demigod Vadik, CA

    I like the this Pope a lot, but a man who has no children should not say that the sound of a baby crying sounds like a heavenly choir...

    ...after about 3 hours of a baby crying because of gases, believe me, it does not sound like a choir at all...

    January 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
  19. Alan

    “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1).

    This prophecy of Isaiah never ceases to touch us, especially when we hear it proclaimed in the liturgy of Christmas Night. This is not simply an emotional or sentimental matter. It moves us because it states the deep reality of what we are: a people who walk, and all around us – and within us as well – there is darkness and light. In this night, as the spirit of darkness enfolds the world, there takes place anew the event which always amazes and surprises us: the people who walk see a great light. A light which makes us reflect on this mystery: the mystery of walking and seeing.

    Walking. This verb makes us reflect on the course of history, that long journey which is the history of salvation, starting with Abraham, our father in faith, whom the Lord called one day to set out, to go forth from his country towards the land which he would show him. From that time on, our ident/ty as believers has been that of a people making its pilgrim way towards the promised land. This history has always been accompanied by the Lord! He is ever faithful to his covenant and to his promises. “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5). Yet on the part of the people there are times of both light and darkness, fidelity and infidelity, obedience, and rebellion; times of being a pilgrim people and times of being a people adrift.

    In our personal history too, there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light; but if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us. “Whoever hates his brother – writes the Apostle John – is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 Jn 2:11).

    On this night, like a burst of brilliant light, there rings out the proclamation of the Apostle: “God's grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race” (t/t 2:11).

    The grace which was revealed in our world is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, true man and true God. He has entered our history; he has shared our journey. He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light. In him was revealed the grace, the mercy, and the tender love of the Father: Jesus is Love incarnate. He is not simply a teacher of wisdom, he is not an ideal for which we strive while knowing that we are hopelessly distant from it. He is the meaning of life and history, who has pitched his tent in our midst.

    The shepherds were the first to see this “tent”, to receive the news of Jesus’ birth. They were the first because they were among the last, the outcast. And they were the first because they were awake, keeping watch in the night, guarding their flocks. Together with them, let us pause before the Child, let us pause in silence. Together with them, let us thank the Lord for having given Jesus to us, and with them let us raise from the depths of our hearts the praises of his fidelity: We bless you, Lord God most high, who lowered yourself for our sake. You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich and you made yourself poor; you are all powerful and you made yourself vulnerable.

    On this night let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, he so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10). And I too repeat: Do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is our peace. Amen.
    ~Pope Francis

    January 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      ^ cult babble ^

      January 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • Courtney

        Was that really neccesary? I'm not very religous myself but that was just rude.

        January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
      • neoritter

        ^bigot babble^

        January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
    • weezer

      Alan - get back to work! Stop wasting company time writing novels on-line.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
  20. Squeezebox

    Baptism of infants is provisional. It is meant to protect the child from evil when he or she is growing up, but they are still required to confirm that they want this for themselves in front of the whole congregation during a ceremony we call Confirmation.

    January 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • ME II

      I.E. God's way of saying "Dibs!"

      January 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        Hilarious!

        January 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
    • Celie

      People seem for conveniently forget that.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Traditional Catholicism sees the act of paedobaptism as a sacrament that infuses grace upon the participant. If it is meant as a symbol only, or an act of dedication on the part of the parents, OK. But if, in opposition to Ephesians 2:8-9, and others, it is meant as an act of righteousness intended that the individual might participate in the act of salvation, then it is not Biblically sound.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • igaftr

        Nothing is biblically sound, since the bible itself is not sound.

        January 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I'm sorry, but if you wish to submit an opinion, there is a 2 week waiting period and a $20 processing fee.

          January 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • neoritter

        John 3: 1-21 "Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

        This of course is coupled with Church doctrine and practice that Baptism is not completely necessary. This is where Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood become involved. In both cases it is a situation where someone was wanted to be baptized but was prevented from doing so before they died. For the latter this means those who were martyred for believing in the faith but were not baptized yet. The former also includes those "...who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of conscience..."

        January 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • neoritter

          I should also add that the argument that something is not "Biblically sound" holds no weight with Catholic doctrine and belief. As the Church does not accept sola scriptura as a valid argument for teachings and truth. I'd rather not get into that debate, but ironically sola scriptura is not "biblically sound"

          January 13, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
    • visitor

      I grew up non-Roman Catholic (Eastern Rites). We did not require Confirmation it was part of Baptism.

      January 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.