During a special baptism service in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis assured mothers that they could freely breastfeed their babies inside the Vatican, echoing remarks he made last year at this time.
“If they start performing a concert [by crying], or if they are uncomfortable or too warm or don’t feel at ease or are hungry … breastfeed them, don’t be afraid, feed them, because this too is the language of love,” he said in an off-the-cuff homily, Reuters reports.
The Pope made his supportive remarks during a yearly baptism event for the children of employees of the Vatican and the diocese of Rome. During the two-hour ceremony, he baptized 18 girls and 16 boys.
This is at least the fifth time that Pope Francis has encouraged women to feel comfortable breastfeeding in sacred spaces, as Jezebel points out. For instance, during a ceremony commemorating the baptism of Jesus in January of last year, he told mothers that if their children “are crying because … then go ahead and feed them, just as Mary breastfed Jesus.”
But considering that women continue to face harassment and retribution for breastfeeding their children in public, the pope’s repeated endorsement is, to many, welcome and necessary.
Read the full story at Reuters.