On birthrates, the pope is not one to preach | Brief letters

I was surprised that the pope has joined the ranks of the hypocrites (Choosing pets over babies is ‘selfish and diminishes us’, says pope, 5 January). How can a celibate man berate anyone for not having children?
Ian Caldwell
Redbourn, Hertfordshire

Reading reports of recent PMQs, I wonder whether the Speaker might introduce a new Thursday session, prime minister’s corrections, where errors and “terminological inexactitudes” could be addressed to set the record straight.
Ian Skidmore
Welwyn, Hertfordshire

Thank you for your leader on literature (31 December). I am now rereading my youngest daughter’s The Dark Is Rising from the bookshelf in her old bedroom and she is rereading my copy of The Box of Delights, which she took with her when she left home. We will exchange volumes when we next meet.
Jill Adams
Moseley, Birmingham

Arwa Mahdawi’s article about the perils of flying with a baby (5 January) reminded me of boarding a plane with our two-year-old many years ago. He was offered a sweet “so your ears don’t pop”, whereupon, not unreasonably, he solemnly tried to stuff the sweet into his ear.
Anna Cummin
Minstead, Hampshire

In our prayers for the dead at my RC infant school (Letters, 5 January), I remember asking that the petrol light would shine upon them, may they rest in peace amen.
Teresa Rodrigues
Sandford, Dorset

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