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It is only natural for men to desire fatherhood, says Pope

Pope Francis spoke of "pastoral paternity" during his morning homily Photos: CNS

There is something wrong with men who do not desire fatherhood, the Pope has said.

During Mass at the chapel of Casa Santa Marta this morning, Pope Francis said: “When a man does not have this desire [for fatherhood], something is missing in this man. Something is wrong. All of us, to exist, to become complete, in order to be mature, we need to feel the joy of fatherhood.”

The Pope said: “Fatherhood is giving life to others, giving life, giving life.”

He said for priests fatherhood was “pastoral paternity, spiritual fatherhood, but this is still giving life, this is still becoming fathers.”

Pope Francis said: “A father who knows what it means to protect his children. And this is a grace that we priests must ask for ourselves: to be a father, to be a father. The grace of fatherhood, of pastoral paternity, of spiritual paternity. We may have many sins, but this is commune sanctorum: We all have sins. But not having children, never becoming a father, it is like an incomplete life: a life that stops half way. And therefore we have to be fathers.”

The inspiration for the homily came from the passage from Genesis, in which Abram is promised the joy of a child and descendants as numerous as the stars. To seal the agreement, Abram prepares a sacrifice of animals and defends them from an attack by birds.