During a ceremony at the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, Pope Francis welcomed women to feel free to nurse their children in the historic church. The pope said, "The ceremony is a little long, someone's crying because he's hungry. That's the way it is." He was thus apparently unconcerned about any untoward display of maternal skin in one of the gems of the Christian world.
The Sistine Chapel is world famous for its frescoes in the vaults of the ceiling, wherein artist Michaelangelo Buonarotti painted depictions of Adam, for instance, as a nude. "You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus," he told worshippers attending an annual ceremony commemorating the baptism of Jesus.
As a priest and bishop in his native Argentina, Pope Francis was well known for his forays into the poorest areas of Buenos Aires, gaining a reputation that he has since burnished for a human, pastoral touch. Today he baptized 15 boys and 13 girls.
Breastfeeding in public is sometimes a controversial subject. In many countries, woman are still discouraged from breastfeeding in public. Groups such as La Leche League have long promoted the benefits of breastfeeding to both mothers and children.