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The leader of the Roman Catholic church is unequivocally and refreshingly an advocate of breastfeeding in public. There have been previous reports in recent news that Pope Francis has gone out of his way to make mothers comfortable nursing their children in his presence, and out in the open. And in another smile-inducing victory for breastfeeding advocates everywhere, according to a Reuters report, after baptizing 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel today, Pope Francis told the childrens’ mothers that they should feel free to breastfeed their little ones right there in public, in the Sistine Chapel. The report notes that Pope Francis delivered an unusually short homily of 300 words centered on the children, noting:
“Today the choir will sing but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise. Some will cry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry. If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here.”
While clearly, Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel are celebrated, they’re also a bit severe and may awe families into specific, overly-proper behavior — however the pope stated that the mothers shouldn’t feel intimidated by the Chapel or uncomfortable feeding their babies during the ceremony. Wise words, and a great casual style of service from the much adored pontiff.