Tuesday 10 December 2019

Do all dogs go to heaven? Pope's interpreted as saying animals could have an after-life

Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Vatican. During today's General Audience Pope Francis told pilgrims the Church is on a continuing journey towards heaven. Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Vatican. During today's General Audience Pope Francis told pilgrims the Church is on a continuing journey towards heaven. Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

It could transpire all dogs do go to heaven after all, after Pope Francis has been interpreted as saying that animals will form part of a ‘new creation’.

The hint that animals could join their owners in heaven was heard at Pope Francis’s latest address to an audience in the Vatican.

The 77-year-old pontiff was recorded as saying; “The holy scripture teaches us that the fulfilment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us.”

The pope quoted St Paul, St Peter and the Book of Revelation and said; “What lies ahead... is therefore a new creation”.

“It is not an annihilation of the universe and all that surrounds us; rather it brings everything to its fullness of being, truth and beauty.” 

Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera interpreted the meaning as; “It broadens the hope of salvation and eschatological beatitude to animals and the whole of creation”, the Guardian reports.

However, Pope Francis’s predecessor Pope Benedict XVI wasn’t convinced of the same.

Although a notable cat-lover, the former pope said for creatures that ‘are not called to eternity’, death just means the ‘end of existence on Earth’.

The idea has also been dismissed by a professor of theology at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome.

"We all say that there will be a continuity between this world and the joyful one of the future, [but also] a transformation," Professor Gianni Colzani told the Guardian newspaper.

"It is the balance between the two things that we are not in a position to determine.

"For that reason, I think we shouldn't make [Pope Francis] say more than he says."

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News