Comments made by Pope Francis suggest that dogs and other pets can go to Heaven, USA Today reported yesterday. The comment reignited a debate about whether dogs and other animals can go to Heaven. The comment was welcomed by groups like the Humane Society that our pets are important to us and God as well, and that they can and do go to Heaven also.
“One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creature,” Pope Francis said about dogs and Heaven in a speech at the Vatican, echoing what had been said years ago by Pope Paul VI, who same the same to a young boy in assuring him he would see his dog in Heaven some day.
USA Today reported People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) latching on to the dogs and Heaven debate, suggesting that the statement of Pope Francis means Catholics should adopt a vegan lifestyle. It is unclear how human consumption of animal-based food products relates to the issue of dog, or other animals, going to Heaven.
“The news accounts of Francis’ remarks were welcomed by groups like the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who saw them as a repudiation of conservative Roman Catholic theology that says animals cannot go to heaven because they have no souls,” the New York Times reported.
The debate over dogs and other animals and Heaven raises issues for some over the slaughtering of animals for food, and whether this affects the chances of those animals going to Heaven. In some parts of the world, dogs are eaten as food. Even President Barack Obama admitted to having eaten dog while a child growing up in Indonesia. It certainly opens up thought of whether those who eat dog believe those dogs are going to Heaven.
The dogs and Heaven issues has been raised in the past, such as when a debate between churches divided only by a street, ensued. A Catholic church hung a sign that read “All dogs go to Heaven,” and the Presbyterian Church across the street disputed the dogs go to Heaven idea with its own sign that read, “only humans go to heaven, read the Bible.” Both side escalated the dog and Heaven debate with signs reading “God loves all Creations. Dogs included” and “Dogs don’t have souls and this is not open for debate.” Declaring the dogs and Heaven debate not open for debate has certainly not ended the debate.
image from www.dogpress.com