'It's a stupid thing to say, isn't it?!' Ricky Gervais blasts Pope Francis after he said people who have pets instead of children are 'selfish'
The head of the Catholic Church, 85, recently expressed concern over global birth rates and suggested pets are 'taking the place of children' while branding it 'a form of selfishness'.
Asked about the comments, Ricky, 60, - who is vocal about his atheism - told The Radio Times Podcast: 'I think what he believes in is ridiculous.
Having his say: Ricky Gervais has called Pope Francis' comments about people choosing to have pets instead of children 'stupid'
'It's a stupid thing to say, isn't it? How can not having children be selfish? How can it be selfish not to bring something into the world that doesn't exist on any level?
'It's not like there's a big line or cage of unborn foetuses going: 'We want to be born'. It doesn't make any sense.'
The After Life star explained he and his partner Jane Fallon don't have children of their own for a number of reasons, but he's happy with his pets.
He added: 'I don't have kids for many reasons but one is that there's enough.
Bold: The head of the Catholic Church, 85, recently expressed concern over global birth rates and suggested pets are 'taking the place of children' while branding it 'a form of selfishness'
'No one's going, 'Gervais isn't having kids, we're going to run out soon.' '
His comments come after Pope Francis addressed procreation during a weekly general audience at the Vatican.
He said: 'Today... we see a form of selfishness. We see that some people do not want to have a child.
'Sometimes they have one, and that's it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of children. This may make people laugh but it is a reality.'
Family: The After Life star explained he and his partner Jane Fallon don't have children of their own for a number of reasons, but he's happy with his pets (pictured with Jane last year)
Meanwhile Ricky insists he doesn't need to stay clear of controversial topics to avoid the risk of offending people because he feels it is important to push boundaries and confront audiences with new ideas.
He said: 'It depends on what the joke is. I can't stress that enough.
'I'll carry on exploring taboo subjects because I like taking the audience to a place they haven't been before.'
The comedian told The Sun that people used to hate when he hurled abuse at the rich and famous at the event, but the public have 'become tired' of celebrities.
Sunday night's Golden Globes moved online after a boycott by celebrities over its lack of diversity on the voting panel. The ceremony was not be televised or livestreamed, with winners announced on Twitter.
Cute: Ricky is a huge animal lover and shares adopted cat Ollie (pictured) with his wife Jane
The Office creator said: 'The first time I did it, ten years ago, everyone was like, "Ah, how can you talk to these wonderful multi-millionaires, how can you talk to these beautiful people, like that? We love celebrities."'
He went on: 'By the last one it was like, "God, give it to them, we hate celebrities!"'
He infamously hosted the event back in 2020, where various celebrities were the butt of his biting jokes.
Ricky made jokes about Leonardo DiCaprio dating younger women, while he called out various celebrities for cosying up to Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.
He also commented on the fact that the public do not like 'virtue signalling' from celebrities anymore and that they do not 'like to be lectured.'
He said: 'The people with nothing became tired of being lectured by people who had everything.'
He also pondered the fact that the show may be coming to an end after this year due it being all online, as the ceremony headed behind closed doors.
Honest: It comes after earlier this week Ricky shared his experience of hosting The Golden Globes after a decade at the podium, admitting 'people got sick of virtue signalling'