Pope Francis earned a fair amount of press for his offhand comments that faithful Catholics do not need to breed “like rabbits,” citing Vatican-approved forms of natural family planning. But the pope also managed to attract criticism from an unlikely group in the process: German rabbit breeders.
German rabbit breeders are apparently less than happy that Pope Francis implied that all rabbits breed quickly. According to Erwin Leowsky of the Zentralverband Deutscher Rasse-Kaninchenzüchter (the Central Association of German Rabbit Breeders), only wild rabbits breed nonstop. Captive rabbits apparently breed much slower. (RELATED: Pope Confirms US Visit Later This Year)
According to the Associated Press, Leowski told local German media that “the pope should allow Catholics to use contraception rather than resorting to misleading cliches about rabbits.”
A day later, Leowski said in a statement to NBC News that his comments had been “powerfully misunderstood.” Yet he reiterated that “it is worrying if the Catholic Church or the pope can’t talk about family policy without saying such dumb things.”