In a world of increasing chaos, inhumanity and blatant corruptions on so many levels, Pope Francis seems to have acknowledge what I already believed, I had to believe. I am rather alone now, but for my two dogs Maddox and his mother Cleo and there is little doubt in my mind that without them I would not have made it through the trials and tribulations that I have journeyed through over the past few years, mostly all of my own doing. They have given me solace in a world that every day seems to astound me with its lies and delusions, a world I believe is reality has become depressing to contemplate indeed. And I have no doubt they will see me rise back to my old self, though far more humble and aware of the important things in life I hope.
If there is heaven, it is a place for all God’s creatures. I need to know that when the time comes, whomever leaves first, that Maddox, Cleo and I will be together once more. Pope Francis has given me more reason to believe.
Trying to console a distraught little boy whose dog had died, Francis told him in a recent public appearance on St. Peter’s Square that “paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” While it is unclear whether the pope’s remarks helped soothe the child, they were welcomed by groups like the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who saw them as a repudiation of conservative Catholic theology that says animals cannot go to heaven because they have no souls.
“My inbox got flooded,” said Christine Gutleben, senior director of faith outreach at the Humane Society, the largest animal protection group in the United States. “Almost immediately, everybody was talking about it.”
Charles Camosy, an author and professor of Christian ethics at Fordham University, said it was difficult to know precisely what Francis meant, since he spoke “in pastoral language that is not really meant to be dissected by academics.” But asked if the remarks had caused a new debate on whether animals have souls, suffer and go to heaven, Mr. Camosy said, “In a word: Absolutely.”