Pope Francis has said he is 'truly sorry' for offending large Catholic families by saying that there was no need to breed 'like rabbits'.
The Pope caused dismay among larger families last month when he cautioned 'responsible parenthood' advising that three children was 'about right'.
Vatican Archbishop Giovanni Becciu has apologised on Francis' behalf by saying 'the Pope is truly sorry' that his remarks about large families 'caused such disorientation'.
Archbishop Becciu told the Italian bishop's newspaper Avvenire that the pope 'absolutely did not want to disregard the beauty and the value of large families.'
Francis, himself the eldest of five children, had told a press conference on a flight back from the Philippines how a woman he knows was pregnant with her eighth child after having the first seven by C-section.Daily Mail
He said he had rebuked her, saying: 'But do you want to leave seven orphans?'
The Pope said: 'That is an irresponsibility. [That woman might say] 'no but I trust in God.' But God gives you methods to be responsible.'
He added: 'Some think that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood.'