Pope Francis Tells Mothers to ‘Breastfeed Without Fear’ in Sistine Chapel

January 9, 2017, 7:20 PM UTC

On Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged women attending a ceremony in the Sistine Chapel to breastfeed their children in the church.

“The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is,” he said during the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, an annual ceremony that commemorates the baptism of Jesus, according to the Agence France-Presse. “You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus.”

This isn’t the first time the pontiff has supported breastfeeding in church. During the same ceremony two years ago, Pope Francis changed the written text of his homily from “give them milk” to the Italian term allattateli, which means “breastfeed them.”


“You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them, don’t worry,” he said at the time.

The Argentine pope baptized 28 children on Sunday—15 boys and 13 girls.

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