While Pope Francis has undoubtedly been awesome in challenging most of the traditional views of the Catholic Church – this time people were mistaken. Perhaps his open-minded views about homosexuality, science and other religions , made sure that the Internet, fueled by the love for animals by activists and vegans alike, made a huge out of context assumption about his stance regarding animals in the afterlife.
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The Internet was abuzz about how the Pope had declared the pearly white gates a safe haven for all of our favorite animals, from cats to dogs. It was reported that he comforted a child mourning the loss of a beloved pet saying the words “Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” This incident happened years ago with Pope Paul VI uttering those words.
This mixing up of Popes and quotes seems to be traced to some bad translations of Italian headlines. It didn’t help that the New York Times even got swayed by the waves of social media. The spark was heightened because the Pope gave a recent talk about the afterlife, saying “It’s lovely to think of this, to think we will find ourselves up there. All of us in heaven. It’s good, it gives strength to our soul.”
Animal rights activist, animal lovers and vegans alike were very excited that the Pope talked about the idea of animals having souls, because obviously that would mean the fight for their right would be legit.
Christine Gutleben of the Humane Society, reportedly had her inbox flooded because of people talking about it.
For the most part, Catholicism has endorsed the idea that animals have no souls, and therefore no place in the afterlife.
However, despite all of the misquoting of Pope’s, the idea that it has nonetheless sparked a huge debate on whether animals have souls, can feel pain or go to heaven remains true.
So far, Pope Francis’s views animals having a place in the afterlife remain unknown. But given how wonderful he has been so far, we doubt it will be anything bad.
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