Pope Francis: Doggie Heaven Is Real


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:


Published in General, Religion & Philosophy
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  1. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn


    The Maximum Cat. I will never get over his death.

    • #31
  2. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT

    Red Feline: And who says that the energy forms of our beloved pets won’t be there too?

    I have a couple of special cats, and dogs I hope are waiting for me at the rainbow bridge.

    • #32
  3. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT

    The King Prawn: The Maximum Cat. I will never get over his death.

    I understand that. My ex had a cat live to be 27 years old. I suspect her death was very difficult for him.

    • #33
  4. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT

    The King Prawn: The Maximum Cat. I will never get over his death.

    I don’t know how I missed that post KP. I truly understand. I have a pet who was murdered 36 years ago, and I’m still not over him. Time doesn’t always ease the loss, just makes it bearable.

    • #34
  5. MLH Inactive

    The King Prawn:max

    The Maximum Cat. I will never get over his death.

    How did he do that with his eyes!

    • #35
  6. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.

    One day, we will see our house plants again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”

    • #36
  7. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn

    Max had one blue and one yellow eye. The weird part was how the retinas reflected light different colors. The vet was surprised he wasn’t blind. He was a very unique and special beast.

    • #37
  8. Belt Inactive

    Hmm, looks like I get to be a killjoy.  Turns out Pope Francis never said that.

    I grew up with dogs and lots of cats on the farm.  I have a housecat that’s been with me for a decade and a half now (he turns 16 in May).  I don’t expect to see them in Heaven/the New Earth.  This is something that we are flatly not qualified to make any statements about.  It might happen, but there are sharp limits to what God has revealed to us, and insisting that it must be true is an appeal to rank emotionalism.

    I would say that it’s enough to love and comfort an animal companion here during our mortal span on earth, because that’s a good way to practice a bit of grace.  And we can receive some grace in return.

    • #38
  9. Metalheaddoc Member

    Plus, whatever the theological case is, the Pope should tell the kid “Yes”. If the Pope doesn’t think it’s true, then tell the kid anyway and add one lie to his list for confession. In this case, it’s better to be kind than to be right.

    • #39
  10. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno

    I hope we are all aware that the Pope, the most misquoted Pope in history so far, was  misquoted again.  He didn’t say it.  An Italian paper made a mistake, and the American media who repeated the mistake are now apologizing for it.

    Thank goodness.  If animals had souls and went to heaven, I couldn’t eat them.  Or if we are that equal, I guess I could start eating all of you.

    • #40
  11. x Inactive

    Charlie, a couple months before he died.  I don’t know if there’s an afterlife or not, but if there is, I hope to see him again.Charlie

    • #41
  12. x Inactive

    And just to prove that you should be careful what you wish for, Simon & Lucy.  The hounds from hell.Simon and Lucy

    • #42
  13. Mark Belling Fan Member
    Mark Belling Fan


    Bear and Goldie, after a full day of driving me crazy.

    • #43
  14. kaekrem@aol.com Thatcher

    My mother and I have often discussed the question of whether or not animals think and feel or if they are driven only by instinct. She grew up on a farm that had animals, and always felt that animals acted based on their instinctual drive. Then I got my cats, Marcello and Musetta. My cats lived with my parents for several months while I was living in an apartment that didn’t allow pets, and then again for a few years while I was in school for degree #2. After spending time with my two fur balls, my mother completely changed her tune about whether or not animals feel and have complex thoughts. Whether or not they will be in heaven, we can only speculate. I really hope they are, and I have no problems theologically with our pets being with us in the Great Up Yonder. In fact, I think God, in his infinite love, would rather like to see our joy at being reunited with our beloved animal companions.



    • #44
  15. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT

    My last cat was a beautiful calico Manx, named “Motormouth” as he never shut up unless he was asleep. Worse than a Siamese.

    • #45
  16. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya

    I had a talk with my pastor about the Pope’s statement.  Regarding pets going to heaven, he said, “Why not?”  Then, he speculated that perhaps even plants might be there, too.  I didn’t really know what to make of that, as it’s clear to me that a dandelion has no soul.  It’s just as clear to me that dogs do, though.  As for cats, they are – to quote a private message “David Kahane” once sent me via Facebook – “Satan’s spawn,” therefore, it would be very odd indeed to see them in Paradise.

    • #46
  17. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    Tommy De Seno

    I hope we are all aware that the Pope, the most misquoted Pope in history so far, was misquoted again. He didn’t say it. An Italian paper made a mistake, and the American media who repeated the mistake are now apologizing for it.

    The media do this all the time, but it’s the worst with stories that originate overseas.  I’ve said it many times before:  “News” journalism is rife with acts of incompetence and malpractice to such an extent that almost nothing its practitioners write or say can be fully trusted.  Just look at the corrections published by the “newspaper of record” – the New York Times.  And those are only the things they admit to!

    • #47
  18. Wineguy13 Thatcher

    I never cease to be amazed at what some people (usually people who are not very developed in their faith) expect from the eternal life offered to believers in Christ.  The conception held by these people is ignorant (in a non-judgmental way) of the purpose behind our creation.  We will be in eternal life, glorifying God (see Westminster Cathechism Q1.).  This mortal plane is of no importance when compared to the One who created it.  When one asks how a benevolent god can allow horrible suffering, I ask what is this temporal suffering to eternal glory?  The notion of a place where we are re-united with our pets (or for me, my guitars!) to live happily ever after is not supported by Scripture.  I fully understand the Pope wanting to keep this child from fretting, but Jesus understood the perfecting of creation could only come through Divine Intervention, and that the Creation itself was certainly not divine.  The exception to that is Man, created in the image of God.  The things we love so strongly on Earth will be utter folly when compared to the presence of God.  That is my understanding of the matter, and while I would not like to make the argument to a child mourning the loss of a beloved pet, I am not holding my breath to see Bob (extraordinary Labradoodle) and me reunited in the afterlife.

    Many people see only what is around them, and use that as a template for whatever else they conceive.  I believe it will not be so mundane!

    EDIT-Now it appears it was Paul VI who said it…In the words of Adam Carolla: “Yeah but still,”

    • #48
  19. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    I fear to write about Pope Francis’ statements for two main reasons: 1) I’m not Catholic, 2) Early reports of his statements are always wrong.

    Nevertheless, I appreciate the discussion and love all the photos of your pets.

    • #49
  20. karon@karonadams.com Inactive


    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Corgis



    At left, Boots; at right, Rhys. Click image to enlarge.

    Jon Gabriel and Queen Elizabeth….

    • #50
  21. karon@karonadams.com Inactive

    I have always maintained a FIRM belief in the Rainbow Bridge. having raised my kidlets and had dogs all my life, I cannot but hope. There is an old story of a man who dies and, on his way to the everlasting, passes by a field. from the field comes romping his dear friend dog who had passed a few years before himself. their reunion is appropriately affectionate and sloppy. having renewed their friendship, they move along the road and come across the magnificent gates of heaven. strolling to the pearly gates, eyes blinded by the light, the old man is met by a guard. “welcome to Heaven. Sorry, no dogs allowed.” faced with the choices of continuing along the road with his pal or entering to paradise, the old man choses to forgo Heaven and head down the road. “I’ll just be on my way, then.” and further down the road, his faithful companion by his side. a little further on, they come to a fork in the road. an old man by the garden gate greets them, “Welcome, my friends, come in..”

    Where is this?” the old man asks

    “Why, this is Heaven, welcome..”

    “I thought that was it, back there?”

    “”Do you honestly believe Paradise would require you to leave your best friend in the cold to enter?”

    Of course not. My dogs are my best friends, children and husband aside. It couple never BE heaven without my best pals. ever.

    I have two pictures to share. The first is one I call “Working Dogs. My dear Boxers, doing what they do best, holding down the Sofa! You will see the reverse Brindle, Bo, Tovi in the middle and Mayhem on the other end.

    Bo, Tovi and Mayhem, my Working Dogs, doing their job, holding down the sofa...

    Bo and Mayhem are currently waiting at the Bridge

    and, today, my dear TOvi, once the pup of the bunch, now the old lady, bringing a new friend to her home, Tangle.

    Tangle in the front, Tovi behind.

    Happy Christmas, dear friends and don’t forget your 4 legged pals!

    • #51
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