Gosh, the Pope really comes out with some strange statements when he is on a plane. Is high altitude a problem for him?

A few days ago he said he would meet an insult about his mother by throwing a punch.

On Tuesday, January 20, on a flight from the Philipines to Rome, he said:

Catholics do not have to breed “like rabbits” and should instead practise “responsible parenting”, Pope Francis said on Monday.

The Revd Patrice Gourrier, a Catholic priest and regular panellist on RMC’s Les Grandes Gueules, was interviewed by phone today by the show’s hosts.

He said that the context was a question from the press about a woman who had had seven caesarian sections and was pregnant again; the pontiff was merely saying that there was no Catholic obligation to keep getting pregnant.

Gourrier added that he thought it was a positive statement:

This is the first time a Pope has advocated sexual intercourse for pleasure and not for procreation.

Maybe so, however, one of the panellists took exception to comparing human sexuality with that of animals, particularly when talking about poor people. She also said it was ‘colonialist’ language.

I agree with her on the Pope’s unfortunate choice of words.

There is a difficulty in telling people, particularly those in the developing world, that they can have intercourse without getting pregnant. The Pope recommends natural methods of birth control. Every woman I know who has used those methods has a house full of children. It’s a bit difficult having intercourse and avoiding pregnancy without birth control or surgical intervention.

The Pope went on to criticise organisations who were supplying condoms to Africans, accusing these groups of ‘ideological colonisation’.