Pope Francis backs public breastfeeding! And that makes him traditional…

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Bernardino Luini. **Note: this image is not available to download.

Bernardino Luini. **Note: this image is not available to download.

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The pontiff's most "radical" suggestion in a recent interview -- that a nursing mother should breastfeed her baby even in front of the pope -- may be fodder for La Leche League types. But he is invoking an ancient devotion while endorsing a pragmatic work of mercy.

  • Amy

    Do it Audrey. I breastfed in church. I mean, screaming baby or happy baby- easy choice. Plus if the party line is have a bunch of babies, well, you gotta feed um somehow. I once took communion with him latched on under a nursing wrap. Nothing about it felt wrong to me.

  • Our faith is completely incarnational – fleshy – about bodies and embodiment – yet those bodies are so often subverted. Is there any more powerful time of the liturgical year to remember that? The Word became flesh, and he was fed from the breast. Every time we shrink from the image of Mary feeding Jesus, or a mother feeding her child, we are averting our gaze away from God.

  • Life of O’Reilly

    Bravo to Pope Francis. The more I hear of him, the more I like him. I am a Catholic mother and I always nursed my babies during Mass. If I hadn’t, they would have been screaming, and then what would have been point in being there? I am modest and discreet by nature, so it was never even noticed. The only comments I ever received were how angelic my baby looked sleeping in my arms.

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  • Burton Everist

    “Let us, then, meditate upon the Nativity just as we see it happening in our own babies. I would not have you contemplate the deity of Christ, the majesty of Christ, but rather his flesh. Look upon the baby Jesus. Divinity may terrify mortals. Inexpressible majesty will crush us. ….
    Behold Christ lying in the lap of his young mother, still a virgin. What can be sweeter than the Babe, what more lovely than the mother! What fairer than her youth! What more gracious than her virginity! Look at the Child, knowing nothing! Yet all that is belongs to him, that your conscience should not fear but take comfort in him. Doubt nothing. Watch him springing in the lap of the maiden. Laugh with him. ….
    To me there is not greater consolation given to humankind than this, that Christ became human, a child, a babe, playing in the lap and at the breasts of his most gracious mother. Who is there whom this sight would not comfort? Now is overcome the power of sin, death, hell, conscience, and guilt, if you come to judge this gurgling Babe and believe that he is come, not to judge you, but to save. –Martin Luther, paraphrased from Martin Luther’s Christmas Book edited by Roland H. Bainton

  • I love this! So helpful and affirming and sensible.

    I agree that there are spiritual riches to be found in the practice and contemplation of breastfeeding.

    I had a lovely, affirming experience of breastfeeding a wriggling toddler during a service at Canterbury Cathedral, and wrote about it here, if anyone’s interested: http://sacraparental.com/2013/06/18/the-sacrament-of-breastfeeding-2-sung-and-suckled-eucharist/

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  • I am a Nurse-Midwife for 43 years and of course breastfeeding is only a most natural thing which we promoted strongly. But most women liked to use some cover while breastfeeding, and those cover shawls could be very pretty. Paintings with Mary breastfeeding and showing Her nipples is only perceived in the mind of the artist it’s not a portrait or actual reproduction of what they saw Mary do. So I’m pretty sure that Mary was not attracting people’s attention.
    Nowadays -it’s a new thing- we have to ask the patient if she allows us to touch her breast > what’s going on in the sick mind of nowadays world< women knew that when you helped them with the breastfeeding you touch their breasts, after all you explain the whole plan of care before you even start doing a procedure.
    That whole so called "humble thing, see how humble I am" disgusts me
    "Look how humble I am, I ride a donkey NOT a jaguar" Doesn't the Bible teach us that your left hand shouldn't know what your right hand gives !!!
    I say all those philanthropists received their rewards already here on earth. There are people that do greater things but in silence and will receive their reward in Heaven.

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  • LBorkowski

    A whole gallery of Maria Lactans: http://www.fisheaters.com/marialactans.html Merry Christmas 🙂

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  • Kay Larsen

    If women were as pure of mind and heart as the blessed mother there would be no question about the beauty of the act of feeding a child. Unfortunately, most women have lost the modesty which allows breastfeeding in public to be an act of motherly love, instead using it to flaunt their sexuality. I have sat next to women who were nursing their babies in public and you would never know it and I have seen others sitting there with their tops down around their waists with both breasts in full view. There is a way to do it beautifully and modestly and I speak as a woman who breastfed her children in public when necessary.

  • Peter Dawson

    My wife and I once asked a pacific island priest in our parish what the island women did with their babies at mass – his reply? “They breastfed them to keep them quiet”!

  • Danielle Burgoyne

    Feeding your child in public when necessary? When a child is hungry they need to be fed, you cannot force a breastfeeding child to eat when they do not wish to. Surely you also know about the benefits of skin to skin for both mother and child, this mother may have had to overcome many obsticles to have built up the courage to feed in public. Modesty does not come into it, it is our modern society and sexualisation of the breast that is the issue. Any mother feeding their child is an act of love, including formula feeding.

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    ความพยายามที่จะ ค้นหาสิ่ง ที่จะ ปรับปรุง ของฉัน เพิ่ม
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