It is not strictly Catholic as far as I know… may be after Christianity came about but there are some religious ideas about multiple heavens and they have different functions… though i think this is Kabbalistic or Jewish and not explicitly what Catholics believe I thought It was interesting when I was young.
God is transcendent so whatever his kingdom is like is going to be like him… which is still probably far beyond anything we can comprehend other than what has been revealed to us.
Public revelation is over sure at least in our tradition we consider that penultimate…
But things do still develop in understanding over time…
And as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized forever and eternity as well as fact and truth are often different things.
I was lucky enough to have visited Israel a few months ago and went to the Archaeological museum in Jerusalem. They had several bone ossuaries on display and went on to describe the burial customs of people in early biblical times. They practiced a form of burial called Excamation in which the body was left out in the elements for the birds and wild animals to eat. Then, after the bones were void of flesh, and the bones were bleached and dried by the sun, the bones were buried.
This would help explain Joseph’s words in Genesis 50:25 "And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.
I don’t know of any law in the Torah which forbade this practice, or of any place where God gave them specific burial instructions. I understand what you’re saying, but the body is separate from the soul, and the flesh itself “is of no account” as Jesus said. It is our soul which rises to God and is very precious to him.
But thank you for taking the time to read everyone’s comments and taking all your time to reply.
Respectfully, I’ll always believe that animals have an afterlife. And you’re right, my belief doesn’t make it so. And I rarely get into discussions in the forums because I don’t like to argue, but I have a very strong belief about this because I have had, and know others who have, and have read many accounts about lots of people who have had experiences with their pets after their deaths. And I know another person, quite well, actually, who at the death of an animal, saw its spirit form rise from its body. And I’ve read about others who have seen the same. And so, just as in “personal revelation”, we’re not obliged to believe these things, neither can I disregard All of these Many testimonies. So, actually, no amount of ‘human reasoning’ could convince me otherwise.
I’ve been on the board of our local animal shelter for about the last 13 years. For all that time and probably more before then, our most popular selling t-shirts and sweatshirts are the ones that have the Will Rodgers saying on the back, “If dogs don’t go to heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” For those of you who have just lost a four legged friend, you might find the poem “Rainbow Bridge” to be comforting. It is not Catholic Church teaching, but it can be very healing when you have lost a family pet.
My feelings about limbo aren’t emotionally driven. For me, it was just the first example of the Catholic Church doing a 180 on something that isn’t dogma. And I don’t blame them for that. Advances in psychology, philosophy, chemistry, physics, medicine, etc. all shed new light on the Church’s teachings. If it’s not dogma, the Church can take advantage of new information.
I think it should. People believe in them in increasingly large numbers. A lot of people are turning away from the traditional Christian God and toward a super-intellectual alien creator. (I’m not, just so no one accuses me of being an atheist again.)
If you are talking about Limbo for Infants there has been ZERO change. It has never been a Church teaching and it still is not a Church teaching. It was only ever a theological hypothesis which Catholics were and are allowed to believe in or not.
The Vatican is under the impression that Limbo for unbaptized infants was definitely a teaching:
“It is clear that the traditional teaching on this topic has concentrated on the theory of limbo, understood as a state which includes the souls of infants who die subject to original sin and without baptism, and who, therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin.”
The Church doesn’t know. We will ALL know…someday. If only humans are part of the New Creation, it’s going to be a pretty sterile one. I can’t see that coming from Christ. I believe, and always will, that when that day arrives the earth will be filled with birdsong, cows and horses grazing peacefully in flower-filled fields, the lion lying beside the lamb, and every pet every one of us has known at our side, happy and healthy, just as we are.
Some mystics have compared the spiritual life or the ultimate destination to a garden or being a flower in that garden or various things… we cannot say for sure what it will be like… but there are certain things that are part of what is considered to be divine revelation. One of those is that the incarnation and the resurrection of Christ are integral in the way we are saved and go to heaven and that it is something primarily for humans because that is how we get there by being his body that is what the priest here I think is stressing. I could be wrong. Now people like Blackfriar have made an interesting point on how we are the image of God in the world and how we live affects nature including animals… who’s to say. Thistle and I really butt heads but we probably agree with each other on what is considered dogma I would rather just wonder than assume that just because something isn’t explicitly taught it isn’t possible…
I am of the position that sure… Christianity is the true religion…
But no one has a monopoly on God or what he decides to do or how he chooses to reveal himself.
And yeah I do agree with some of what you are saying because it is in the bible.