Pope Francis sought to clarify his remark that Catholics should not breed “like rabbits”, saying economic injustice – not large families – was the real cause of poverty.
Francis had made the comment during a news conference aboard the plane returning from a week-long Asia trip when speaking about birth control.
His unusually frank language raised eyebrows, particularly in social media.
“I have heard that families with many children and the birth of many children are among the causes of poverty.
“I think that is a simplistic opinion,” he said.