It's a Dog's Afterlife: Pope Francis hints that animals go to heaven

This is a question I’ve seen asked on this forum a-lot.
Do one’s pets–and other animals–go to heaven?

The pope seems on board with the idea:

Animals, too, go to heaven. That, at least, was one interpretation of remarks made by Pope Francis in his weekly general audience in the Vatican.
The endlessly controversial 77-year-old pontiff said: “The holy scripture teaches us that the fulfilment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us.”
The pope went on to quote from St Paul, St Peter and the Book of Revelation in support of the view that “what lies ahead … is therefore a new creation”.
He added: “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 Corriere della Sera was in no doubt about his meaning. “It broadens the hope of salvation and eschatological beatitude to animals and the whole of creation,” wrote the paper’s Vatican specialist in an article published on Thursday…


I don’t see where this statement by Pope Francis suggests one way or the other whether animals go to heaven. But my personal opinion, apart from what Judaism may or may not say about the issue, is that they do. And I have a non-practicing Catholic friend who firmly believes that if anyone does go to heaven, it would be animals instead of humans.

I find it hard to believe that a creature created to be completely trusting and guileless, and easy prey to the cruelty of men, could not, regardless of its ability to consent, be part of the Kingdom of God.

This is all I can reply with. I believe the comic is called, “Ben & Frank,” and was made by a fellow named Jason Bach. This sums it up quite nicely, I’d think.

Yes, sadly the mainstream media is no different than a child’s game of “Telephone” when it comes to reporting on the Vatican, even the Italian media, which should know better!

:rotfl::whacky: @ the cartoon… love it!
I would seriously love it if somehow, someway, it was determined that dogs and other animals would also be in heaven. Got a lot of well beloved dogs and cats I’d love to have around for all eternity.

I never underestimate the power, glory and mercy of the Creator Who loves all His creation.

From the snippets quoted, it does not appear that Pope Francis said animals go to heaven. If anything, he appears to have said that they can be in the new creation, which includes an earth. But actually, the snippets don’t even indicate that he mentioned animals explicitly. It just says that all creation will be renewed.

I don’t know of any time when the Church ever explicitly said that animals don’t go to heaven. And there’s even a time in Sacred Scripture where God allows an animal to talk.
So, I don’t know, maybe they could go to heaven. Anyway, here’s something nice that was said by Pope Pius XI about animals:

  1. Especially in our days franciscana have been studied more profoundly by the learned and a great number of works printed in various languages have seen the light of day. The talents, too, of artists who have made works of great artistic value have succeeded in arousing an almost limitless admiration for St. Francis among our contemporaries despite the fact that sometimes this admiration is not based on a true understanding of the Saint. Some admired in him the character of the poet by which he so wonderfully expressed the sentiments of his soul, and his famous Canticle became the delight of learned men who recognized in it one of the first great poems of the early Italian language. Others were taken by his love of nature, for he not only seemed fascinated by the majesty of inanimate nature, by the splendor of the stars, by the beauty of his Umbrian mountains and valleys, but, like Adam before his fall in the Garden of Eden, Francis even spoke to the animals themselves. He appears to have been joined to them in a kind of brotherhood and they were obedient to his every wish. Others praised his love of country because in him Our Italy, which boasts the great honor of having given him birth, found a more fruitful source of blessings than any other country. Others, finally, honor him for that truly singular and catholic love with which he embraced all men. All of this is quite admirable but it is the least that is to be praised in our Saint, and it all must be understood in a correct sense. If we stop at these aspects of his life and look upon them as the most important, or change their import so as to justify either our own morbid ideas or excuse our false opinions, or to uphold thereby some of our prejudices, it is certain that we would not possess a genuine picture of the real Francis. As a matter of fact, by his practice of all the virtues in a heroic manner, by the austerity of his life and his preaching of penance, by his manifold and restless activity for the reformation of society, the figure of Francis stands forth in all its completeness, proposed to us not so much for the admiration as for the imitation of Christian peoples. As the Herald of the Great King, his purposes were directed to persuading men to conform their lives to the dictates of evangelical sanctity and to the love of the Cross, not that they should become mere friends or lovers of flowers, birds, lambs, fishes or hares. He seemed filled with a great and tender affection for animals, and “no matter how small they were” he called them all “by the name of brother and sister” - a love which if it is kept within bounds is assuredly not prohibited by any law. This love of animals was due to no other cause than his own love of God, which moved him to love these creatures because he knew that they had the same origin as he (St. Bonaventure, Legenda Maior, Chap VIII, No. 6) and in them all he perceived the goodness of God. St. Francis, too, “saw the image of the Beloved imprinted on all things, and made of these things a ladder whereby to reach His throne.” (Thomas of Celano, Legenda, Chap. II, No. 165)

- Rite Expiatis, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on St. Francis of Assisi (April 1926)



I hope so, but if not it won’t upset me too much. It does seem to make sense, that God would not make this vast and wonderful diversity of life just to take his pickings of humans to live on clouds with him forever. (Even that is assuming clouds go to heaven!) I mean, simply being with God is the most great thing and would be bliss, but I don’t see why it would necessitate cutting out everything else he made that gives more glory to Him.

The Church does not really teach one way or another,but I cannot see how God would eliminate one of his finest creations from the fulfillment of His Word.

Heaven would be intense if I could be with a whole bunch of crickets and roaches and not want to run away. And then there are those other critters that I can’t even mention! :eek:

:slight_smile: haha

Just think of it…an unintelligible creature with no soul and no rationale and no ability to offer eternal praise to God…sitting before the Beatific Vision.

Oh well…what do I know? :cool:

Some animals show a lot more intelligence than the Ferguson rioters and the copycats who are rioting in other places.


Yanno what? You’re absolutely right!

I SO love this thread, guys. Am not even going to read it all for fear of hitting the well-intentioned defenders of teaching: “Well, let’s remember that our animal friends are NOT in the same place as us…as Thomas Aquinas tells us …”

I personally can’t imagine afterlife without them. The amount of love, beauty and joy that is in all of creation for that matter…Life is such a mystery - let’s leave it at that. God is merciful. And I know love when I cross its path…

This is bad news, I was hoping to run and hug Jesus when I make it to heaven (please God) but my dog will be licking my face before I get the chance.


:slight_smile: You’ll be fine. I bet your dog will even respectfully keep his distance about a step behind Jesus, though eventually will probably go a little nuts.

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