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Pope: All Dogs Go To Heaven?


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(NEWSER) – Pope Francis continues to show he's anything but traditional. During a recent public appearance, Francis comforted a boy whose dog had died, noting, "One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God's creatures."

Theologians say Francis—who took his papal name from the patron saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi—was only speaking conversationally.

But the remark is being seen by some as a reversal of conservative Catholic theology which states that because they are soulless, animals can't go to heaven, the New York Times reports.

In 1990, Pope John Paul II said animals have souls, but his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, gave a 2008 sermon that seemed to say the opposite.

Francis' comment has now sparked a new debate on the subject, and the Humane Society says it has been flooded with emails. If Francis does in fact believe animals have souls, "then we ought to seriously consider how we treat them," a rep says. "We have to admit that these are sentient beings, and they mean something to God."

PETA is also running with Francis' remark, suggesting Catholics should move toward a vegan lifestyle. Animal souls aside, a recent Pew survey finds Francis has a 60% approval rating worldwide and 78% approval in the US, the Washington Post reports.

China may be growing fond of the pontiff, too, considering he reportedly refused a meeting with the Dalai Lama because, as the Dalai Lama reportedly said, "it might create inconveniences," the Times reports.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/12/12/pope-francis-dogs-can-go-to-heaven/20296955/

 

 

Perhaps someone could shed light on Catholic theology here as well as what Pope Benedict XVI said in 2008. We all know that LDS doctrine is that animals have spirits. See here for example.

 

Can't say that I agree with PETA though as promoting a Vegan lifestyle is contrary to scripture. (1 Tim 4:3, D&C 49:18)

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As I have been trying to explain, every pope, even if they disagree with each other, (even more if they disagree with each other!) is ALWAYS speaking with prophetic infallibility. True Catholics don't care if it doesn't make any sense. Faith doesn't even really make any sense to us unless it is incredible and ridiculous. We believe up is down if a pope says so. What kind of "faith" would allow any Catholic to doubt that anything a pope says to a little boy about his dog might not be ex cathedra, and definitive, binding theology upon all Catholics until the next pope says something different? 

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I can speak to what the Church taught until the other day, when it was changed.

 

Until the pope spoke to the little boy, we taught that animals, and even vegetables have souls. Our definition of soul used to be, the principle of life in a material being. Before Pope Francis changed everything, we believed that being made in the image of God was reserved for the rational animals alone, homo sapiens, and that only human souls were immortal. But it would seem that this teaching is now in doubt for the faithful Catholic. Perhaps updates on what is now Catholic teaching about the resurrection and immortal souls of pets, and maybe even pests(!) will be forthcoming, or perhaps not. As a Catholic, you don't worry about that. You just gotta believe the pope.    

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I can speak to what the Church taught until the other day, when it was changed.

 

Until the pope spoke to the little boy, we taught that animals, and even vegetables have souls. Our definition of soul used to be, the principle of life in a material being. Before Pope Francis changed everything, we believed that being made in the image of God was reserved for the rational animals alone, homo sapiens, and that only human souls were immortal. But it would seem that this teaching is now in doubt for the faithful Catholic. Perhaps updates on what is now Catholic teaching about the resurrection and immortal souls of pets, and maybe even pests(!) will be forthcoming, or perhaps not. As a Catholic, you don't worry about that. You just gotta believe the pope.    

So up till now it has been taught that animals don't go to heaven so I would assume plants wouldn't have made it either.  I wonder though what will be in heaven with all those resurrected people ,will they be on barren mud balls, will the throngs float around in a void?  I'm sure I sound facetious or sarcastic but honestly that is not my intention, I just don't understand where physically resurrected people will spend eternity or what they will be surrounded by. 

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Yirgacheffe. Its okay. A fair question.

 

Allow me to continue to answer in the same vein, which is perhaps just a little sarcastic, as I have begun this thread. Let me know if you don't follow what I am saying.

 

Before today, I would have expected the blessed to dwell in a physical environment where plants and animals exist in a variety of fitting land, sea, and even skyscapes (if you will)...But it wouldn't have been resurrected plants and animals. Oceans might have been full of biologically generated mackerel, but certainly not resurrected mackerel.

 

As to heaven itself, now that pets have eternal security, I am wondering if wolves and lice need to persevere to the end or something. Do they need like humans, to die in a state of grace, having charity for God and their neighbors? And who is THEIR neighbor? Wow. A new question to be answered. Its too early to tell if predators and parasites make it automatically and without exception like a pet. It seems like Kentucky Fried Chickens should make it, if pets do, even if those poor birds never heard the Gospel. Yeah, surely the baptism of blood doctrine should take care of critters that die so the humans can live! This all leaves me thinking that previous Catholic teachings about deification and unity with God cannot be correct. At least it cannot be that heaven is primarily a quality of life, a state of existence. Rather, according to what we have just learned, either pets and maybe all animal creation gets deified, or nobody does, and heaven is primarily a place. I am admittedly struggling with "doggy deification" and Fido's newfound privilege of becoming a son of God. 

 

3DOP

 

PS: Another weird thought...Pets go to heaven, they will experience interior progress in holiness in this life. Kentucky Fried Chickens offer their lives in sacrifice. This is the essence of priestly activity. Maybe we have been wrong to exclude pets and Kentucky Fried Chickens from the priesthood? The communion of saints has also just expanded exponentially. Cool. I love it. Soon we will be praying to dead dogs and cats that can intercede on our behalf more powerfully than any old earthling human! 

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Yirgacheffe. Its okay. A fair question.

 

Allow me to continue to answer in the same vein, which is perhaps just a little sarcastic, as I have begun this thread. Let me know if you don't follow what I am saying.

 

Before today, I would have expected the blessed to dwell in a physical environment where plants and animals exist in a variety of fitting land, sea, and even skyscapes (if you will)...But it wouldn't have been resurrected plants and animals. Oceans might have been full of biologically generated mackerel, but certainly not resurrected mackerel.

 

As to heaven itself, now that pets have eternal security, I am wondering if wolves and lice need to persevere to the end or something. Do they need like humans, to die in a state of grace, having charity for God and their neighbors? And who is THEIR neighbor? Wow. A new question to be answered. Its too early to tell if predators and parasites make it automatically and without exception like a pet. It seems like Kentucky Fried Chickens should make it, if pets do, even if those poor birds never heard the Gospel. Yeah, surely the baptism of blood doctrine should take care of critters that die so the humans can live! This all leaves me thinking that previous Catholic teachings about deification and unity with God cannot be correct. At least it cannot be that heaven is primarily a quality of life, a state of existence. Rather, according to what we have just learned, either pets and maybe all animal creation gets deified, or nobody does, and heaven is primarily a place. I am admittedly struggling with "doggy deification" and Fido's newfound privilege of becoming a son of God. 

 

3DOP

 

PS: Another weird thought...Pets go to heaven, they will experience interior progress in holiness in this life. Kentucky Fried Chickens offer their lives in sacrifice. This is the essence of priestly activity. Maybe we have been wrong to exclude pets and Kentucky Fried Chickens from the priesthood? The communion of saints has also just expanded exponentially. Cool. I love it. Soon we will be praying to dead dogs and cats that can intercede on our behalf more powerfully than any old earthling human! 

Haven't read your post but just want to let you know in case you're still here I very, very often don't follow :)

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Yirgacheffe. Its okay. A fair question.

 

Allow me to continue to answer in the same vein, which is perhaps just a little sarcastic, as I have begun this thread. Let me know if you don't follow what I am saying.

 

Before today, I would have expected the blessed to dwell in a physical environment where plants and animals exist in a variety of fitting land, sea, and even skyscapes (if you will)...But it wouldn't have been resurrected plants and animals. Oceans might have been full of biologically generated mackerel, but certainly not resurrected mackerel.

 

As to heaven itself, now that pets have eternal security, I am wondering if wolves and lice need to persevere to the end or something. Do they need like humans, to die in a state of grace, having charity for God and their neighbors? And who is THEIR neighbor? Wow. A new question to be answered. Its too early to tell if predators and parasites make it automatically and without exception like a pet. It seems like Kentucky Fried Chickens should make it, if pets do, even if those poor birds never heard the Gospel. Yeah, surely the baptism of blood doctrine should take care of critters that die so the humans can live! This all leaves me thinking that previous Catholic teachings about deification and unity with God cannot be correct. At least it cannot be that heaven is primarily a quality of life, a state of existence. Rather, according to what we have just learned, either pets and maybe all animal creation gets deified, or nobody does, and heaven is primarily a place. I am admittedly struggling with "doggy deification" and Fido's newfound privilege of becoming a son of God. 

 

3DOP

 

PS: Another weird thought...Pets go to heaven, they will experience interior progress in holiness in this life. Kentucky Fried Chickens offer their lives in sacrifice. This is the essence of priestly activity. Maybe we have been wrong to exclude pets and Kentucky Fried Chickens from the priesthood? The communion of saints has also just expanded exponentially. Cool. I love it. Soon we will be praying to dead dogs and cats that can intercede on our behalf more powerfully than any old earthling human! 

I think I understand your point, and can separate it from your sarcasm (why does that word refuse to be spelled the way I think it should). 

But I don't see why if plants and animals can exist in heaven, and I assume these brand new heavenly animals are no more capable of experiencing God than those that have died for eons, why can't my friends beloved Smokey be in heaven too.  Not as a result of anything on the dogs part but as part of my friends experience in heaven?

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Hi again Yirgacheffe...

 

Instead of being mischievous again, I delayed my answer until I could consult with my pastor today.

 

As I understood it, Father says that it would be fitting if there are vegetative and irrational animal life inhabiting the physical heavens. It seemed that like me, he tended to favor that idea, although not dogmatically. We cannot be firm about it. However, a host of theological difficulties preclude the possibility that the irrational animal would be resurrected.

 

I have a beloved kitty cat. I have posted her pictures in Social Hall, and I will probably be broken up if I outlive her as I expect. But it would be an attachment that is inordinate, in my opinion, if we allow that the personalities of our beloved pets means that they are actually, or have become, through contact with us, immortal persons, which is a privilege of truly colossal and stupendous proportion in the divine economy. Catholicism has always held that in order to be resurrected, a material being must be made in the image of God. Irrational animals might be physically present, but to experience heaven? To enjoy eternal bliss in the face to face meeting with Him who is Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, is not given unto the irrational animals, and this is right.

 

I could not believe that my dear Mina will be resurrected. In many many ways, she has been a joy and comfort as a gift from God in this life. If I am among the blessed, I do not expect my joy and rapture could be in any way diminished by remembering 15 years with a good kitty who God gave to us, not so we could become absolutely attached to her, but so we could become more attached to Him who made her. I could dig up Catholic theology for why the irrational animals can't be resurrected, but I think what most of us need who love our pets, is to remind ourselves where our pets came from. I would say that God had mankind in mind when he made the earth and heavens. Everything He made was good. But besides mankind, the rest of creation, all of paradise, all of the lower animals and vegetation was loveliest adornment, and intended only as a beautiful setting for the spiritual union which God intended to have with those made in His likeness.

 

Any groom wants to please His bride. But also, any groom wants the heart of His bride. Without irreverence on the subject, it just wouldn't be proper if the bride were distracted by the beauty of the setting. If heaven without Mina, or dare I say, Smokey, isn't acceptable, that means we need to detach ourselves. If we get to heaven, we have as a groom, a Lover who deserves much better than that He should have to compete with a dog or a cat.

 

3DOP

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This thread has been very educational. I had no idea that catholic theology was that something could be alive and sentient and yet not have a soul.

 

Hi bluebell. I must have missed where you gathered that idea. Also, you may have misunderstood me. I was being facetious about the idea that the Pope spoke ex cathedra to the boy about his dog. The definition I have learned for the soul is that it is the principle of life in a material being. Vegetative life has a soul and angels do not according to how we understand the word. The Latin for soul is "anima" (probably the wrong tense), from which we get the word animate, and animal, The word "animal" even comes from the Latin word for soul, so of course animals have souls. Does that mean that their souls go on after the body dies? Catholics have always said no. Only human souls are immortal.

 

In the Summa Theologica First Part, Q. 75, A. 3, asks, "Are the souls of brute animals subsistent?" Clearly, the question could not be asked unless it had been established that beasts have souls. For further inquiry, look here: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1075.htm#article3

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Hi bluebell. I must have missed where you gathered that idea. Also, you may have misunderstood me. I was being facetious about the idea that the Pope spoke ex cathedra to the boy about his dog. The definition I have learned for the soul is that it is the principle of life in a material being. Vegetative life has a soul and angels do not according to how we understand the word. The Latin for soul is "anima" (probably the wrong tense), from which we get the word animate, and animal, The word "animal" even comes from the Latin word for soul, so of course animals have souls. Does that mean that their souls go on after the body dies? Catholics have always said no. Only human souls are immortal.

 

In the Summa Theologica First Part, Q. 75, A. 3, asks, "Are the souls of brute animals subsistent?" Clearly, the question could not be asked unless it had been established that beasts have souls. For further inquiry, look here: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1075.htm#article3

 

Sorry for the confusion-i see i left out a critical word in my other post.

 

It should have said "...immortal soul..."

 

:)

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Animals in heaven came up today in the hardware grill isle, the assumption was there would be animals in heaven the only question was will we be allowed to eat them.   Not a surprise I suppose when just about every one there at the moment is buying propane or charcoal and anticipating grilled meat :)

I have said before that if I get to heaven and find out we cannot eat animals my first project will be creating a tree that grows steaks.

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They will age from rare to medium. I do not believe we will need well-done steaks. Those who currently want such a thing will have either repented of their sin or will not be where I hope to be in any case. :)

As long as they eat it quietly without bringing attention to it they are okay, but as soon as they try to convince me, like the liver pushers, that it is better that way, well that's it.

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