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Pope Francis tells couples not to substitute dogs, cats for children

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has warned married couples against substituting cats and dogs for children — a move that he said leads to the “bitterness of loneliness” in old age.
The pope made his comments Monday as he celebrated daily Mass with 15 married couples in the chapel at the Santa Marta residence where he lives inside the Vatican.
He reminded the couples of the need for faithfulness, perseverance and fertility in maintaining a Christian marriage. The 77-year-old pontiff made his comments after recent figures confirmed a drop in birth rates in the U.S., Italy and elsewhere.
— Religion News Service

‘I Know What You Did Last Sunday’
People who answer online surveys often give different information when answering questions on the phone, according to a study by the Public Religion Research Institute.
The PRRI study is called “I Know What You Did Last Sunday: Measuring Social Desirability Bias in Self-Reported Religious Behavior, Belief, and Belonging.” The study asked random samples of Americans identical questions – one time via phone, one online – and compared the results.
Among the findings:
• On the telephone survey, 36 percent of Americans report attending religious services weekly or more, compared to 31 percent on the online survey.
• When interviewed by telephone, fewer than 3-in-10 (29 percent) white mainline Protestants report that they seldom or never attend religious services, compared to 45 percent who took the self-administered online survey.
• Only 14 percent of black Protestants report seldom or never attending on a telephone survey, compared to nearly one-quarter (24 percent) on the online survey.
— PRRI

Quote to ponder
A hypocrite is a fellow who isn’t himself on Sundays.
— Anonymous

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