Ricky Gervais has blasted `stupid’ Pope Francis for saying couples who choose to have pets instead of children are `selfish’.
The pontiff was expressing his concern at global birth rates and argued dogs and cats were `taking the place of children’ in the world.
He told an audience at the Vatican the `denial’ of motherhood and fatherhood was `diminishing us’ and `taking away our humanity’.
But comic Ricky, 60, said there were `many reasons’ he had chosen not to have children – with the main one being there are `already enough’.
He suggested the `little club’ the head of the Catholic Church runs might be `better’ if a lot of his contemporaries didn’t have the `sort of relationships they had’ with children.
Asked on The Radio Times Podcast what he thought of the Pope’s recent comments Gervais replied: “I think what he believes in is ridiculous.
“It’s a stupid thing to say, isn’t it?
“How can not having children be selfish?
“How can it be selfish not to bring something into the world that doesn’t exist on any level?
“It’s not like there’s a big line or cage of unborn foetuses going, `We want to be born’.
“It doesn’t make any sense.
“I think the little club he runs, I think it would be better if a lot of them didn’t have the sort of relationships they had with children.”
Gervais said he and author partner Jane Fallon, 61, had not had children and enjoyed keeping pets instead.
“I don’t have kids for many reasons but one is that there’s enough,” he said.
“No-one’s going, `Gervais isn’t having kids, we’re going to run out soon’.”
It is not the first time The Office and Extras creator, whose new and final series of comedy-drama After Life (corr) is released on Netflix on Friday (Jan 14), has taken a potshot at the 85-year-old pontiff and his predecessors.
In 2013 he tweeted: “Heard a rumour that the Pope was fired. DEFINITELY untrue.
“What the f*** could you possibly do to get fired from the Catholic church?”
Hosting the 2020 Golden Globes be joked: “It was a big year for paedophile movies. Surviving R Kelly, Leaving Neverland, Two Popes.”
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