Pope Francis Encouraged Moms To Breast-Feed In The Sistine Chapel

Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images.
On Sunday, Pope Francis reminded us why he's not just a normal pope, he's a cool pope. During a baptism held inside the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis encouraged mothers to breast-feed after several babies started to cry. The ceremony was long — Francis was tasked with baptizing 28 children — so it's no surprise that a few of the attendees started to get fussy.

According to the Associated Press, when he heard the cries, Francis joked, "The concert has begun."

At least one woman nursed during the ceremony, which marked the day on the liturgical calendar that Jesus was baptized.

"The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is," Francis said, according to Agence France-Presse. "You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus."

Two years ago, Francis made a similar comment at the same service, which included 33 children. According to the Washington Post, during that year's baptisms, the written homily included "give them milk," but the pontiff altered the speech when he delivered it, changing it to include the Italian term "allattateli," which translates to "breast-feed them."

He echoed the sentiment this year. "You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breast-feed them, don’t worry," he said.

In 2013, the pope remarked that women should not be shy about breast-feeding in public — no matter the setting — when he spoke to an Italian reporter. A young woman was attending a general audience in Rome and was reluctant to feed with the crowds around her. “I wish to say the same to humanity: give people something to eat!" he said. "That woman had milk to give to her child; we have enough food in the world to feed everyone.”
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