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During a recent appearance, Pope Francis comforted a little boy who had just lost his dog. The Pontiff said, “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”
I never think much about this issue until I’m the one dealing with a dying pet. I’ve lost two Corgis in the past several years, and each required lengthy conversations with my young daughters about the cute little guys’ eternal resting place. Though I was non-committal, I employed several “maybes” and “could be’s” to comfort crying kids who wanted a firm promise they would see their puppies again. If I’m being honest, the thought also comforted me more than a little.
Apparently, the official Catholic position is that animals will not be gamboling amongst the clouds because they have no souls. However, I’m unclear how many other denominations have an official position one way or the other.
I assume conservatives would stress if there’s a Doggie Heaven, there also must be a Doggie Hell. My wife would require equal access for cats and horses while the Westboro types would insist God Hates Nags.
Since we have several learned Ricochetti steeped in diverse faith traditions, let me know your thoughts. Is the Pope right that we should see our pets in the afterlife? Also, I would like to see a photo of your pet. Here is mine, Calvin the Wonderbeagle, in repose: