In a world where it seems like, everyday, more rules are restrictions are put in place to curb and quell the behavior of the civilian population, a moment of relief could be found this morning when reading the headlines in the Google Newsroom regarding Pope Francis. One comes across a story from The Telegraph in the UK, titled, Let Them Drink Milk: Pope Encourages Mums to Breastfeed in Sistine Chapel.
For this article, along with some other stories that have been coming out of the Vatican about the reforms of Pope Francis, have inspired the belief that not only is the Vatican changing, but so too, is the world.
The article from The Telegraph confirms this notion of Vatican reforms, by saying, the pope’s statements about breastfeeding during service, “follows his repeated bids to break down the stiff protocol in the Vatican.” It then goes on to reveal that Francis first mentioned back in December that “women should feel comfortable about breast feeding during his ceremonies.” A trend, which the article acknowledges, “could alarm conservatives in the Vatican.” This is particularly true because public breastfeeding in Italy is so rare and “almost unheard of during Catholic church services.”
Considering the conservative nature of Catholic Church, and in many ways, the world itself, this morning’s report of the Vatican’s acceptance of breastfeeding, signifies to the world a refreshing return to truth, and to a natural way of being. For, really, what could be more natural than a mother feeding her child? Conversely, what could be less natural than obstructing her right to do so?
Really, is it not strange that to deny a baby who is out on the town with its mother the right to eat when its hungry because the boob is taboo to a prudish few? How unhappy would an adult be if kept from eating when hungry, because the sight of a sandwich stirred some irreconcilable emotions inside certain members of society? It would make society angry enough to whine and shriek. People wonder why babies all over the western world are crying in public.
Well, Pope Francis knows, as revealed in The Telegraph’s article, which reports that earlier this morning the Pope said the following to the attendees of a mass baptism, “Today the choir will sing but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the babies who will make a noise. Some will cry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry… If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, tranquilly. Because they are the protagonists here.”
Years ago, pre-mature babies were often denied the right to feed from their mother’s mammaries, and later suffered negative health-effects because of a lack of essential hormones available only in mother’s milk. Their personal journeys to educate and replenish the deficiencies caused from feeding only on formula leads some to advocate for the natural act of breastfeeding.
Many also find western society’s laws preventing women from baring their breasts in public to be both ridiculous and revealing. For, what kind of a society finds it acceptable to show images of decapitated corpses on prime-time TV, and front-page news-spreads, while images of breasts are relegated to lascivious late-night viewing and the shadowy back-racks of magazine shelves and newsstands?
Keenly aware of this ridiculous and unsettling reality in our world today, this morning’s news of the Pope’s views and Vatican reforms on the topic of bare breasts, has inspired faith in the fact that change is constant. For, though it may seem that the state of humanity and the world will always be the same, people are constantly made aware of the fact that things are always sure to shift.
This fact of imminent change is further hinted at by another landmark Vatican reform, which in 2008 allowed members of the Catholic faith to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life. The edict from the Chief Vatican Astronomer, Dr. Gabriel Funes, was permitted under Pope Benedict XVI, and which continues to be upheld by Pope Francis today.
For it was in May of 2008 when Dr. Funes astonished the world, by announcing that it was permissable for Catholics to contemplate the existence of extraterrestrial life. “…There is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings… created by God.” Funes went on to say that this acknowledgement of otherworldly life did not contradict the Catholic faith because, “we can’t put limits on God’s creative freedom…”
From mammaries to Martians, the doors for reform are opening in the Vatican, and around the world. Pope Francis has made it clear that bared breasts will not be frowned upon during his tenure at the Vatican. Hopefully, the world can keep up with changes.
By Keith Wyatt