what dog look


“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”


James Herriot


“Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.”


Emily Dickinson






Some excellent news for dog lovers.



Pope Francis says dogs can go to heaven.





Not so excellent.



He didn’t.



Pope Francis didn’t say pets go to heaven.



So how could something not true so quickly become taken as fact?

dog sleep st bernard




Let me tell you what happened.





The news reported this:




(NEWSER) — Pope Francis continues to show he’s anything but traditional. During a recent public appearance, Francis comforted a boy whose dog had died, noting, “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”

Theologians say Francis — who took his papal name from the patron saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi — was only speaking conversationally.

But the remark is being seen by some as a reversal of conservative Catholic theology that states because they are soulless, animals can’t go to heaven.



This, in turn, drove some relatively normally sane people into babbling idiots.



The Humane Society spoke out …


“If Francis does, in fact, believe animals have souls, then we ought to seriously consider how we treat them.

We have to admit that these are sentient beings, and they mean something to God.”







“Ought to seriously consider how we treat them.”




wtf incredible tales book





As a dog owner I laughed out loud.






Maybe cried.


On some days my dog <especially as a puppy> was surely destined to Hell in my mind.



On most days he was a gift from heaven <and I am not religious>.




How the fuck would I have treated him differently if I thought he was going to human heaven? <I wouldn’t>.


tigger on bed




Why the fuck would I want him stuck in a human heaven?


I wanted him to be happy for god’s sake. I wanted him to go to a dog heaven with endless treats and squirrels to chase in eternity.
And maybe a professional ‘behind the ear’ scratcher.










Anyway. Back to how all this crap became ‘media truth.’




This story may be the best example I have found of how untruth becomes ‘truth’ in people’s minds through … well … nonsense.



Or maybe gullibility.

Or maybe not just checking the facts.




Here is how this whole thing unraveled:


This is a recap written by some professional journalist who had the same disdain for the story that I did <but they are a better writer>.

dog car window——



Stories swirled this week that Pope Francis said animals can go to heaven, warming the hearts of pet lovers the world over. Unfortunately, none of that appears to be true.



“Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures,” Francis was reported to have said to comfort a distraught boy whose dog had died.



If true, the story would have been a sparkling moment on a rainy November day, and the setting in St. Peter’s Square would only have burnished Francis’ reputation as a kindly “people’s pope.”

The story naturally lit up social media, became instant promotional material for vegetarians and animal rights groups, and on Friday even made it to the front page of The New York Times.



Yes, a version of that quotation was uttered by a pope, but it was said decades ago by Paul VI, who died in 1978. There is no evidence that Francis repeated the words during his public audience on Nov. 26, as has been widely reported, nor was there was a boy mourning his dead dog.



So how could such a non truth so quickly become taken as truth?



Part of the answer may be the topic of the pope’s talk to the crowd that day, which centered on the End Times and the transformation of all creation into a “new heaven” and a “new earth.” Citing St. Paul in the New Testament, Francis said that is not “the annihilation of the cosmos and of everything around us, but the bringing of all things into the fullness of being.”



The trail of digital bread crumbs then appears to lead to an Italian news report that extended Francis’ discussion of a renewed creation to the question of whether animals too will go to heaven.



“One day we will see our pets in the eternity of Christ,” the report quoted Paul VI as telling a disconsolate boy years ago.




The story was titled, somewhat misleadingly: “Paradise for animals? The Pope doesn’t rule it out.” It wasn’t clear which pope the writer meant, however.



The next day, Nov. 27, a story in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera by veteran Vaticanista Gian Guido Vecchi pushed the headline further: “The Pope and pets: Paradise is open to all creatures.”



Vecchi faithfully recounted the pope’s talk about a new creation, and also cited Paul VI’s remark.



According to The New York Times, which issued a massive correction to its story Friday, Pope Francis actually said: “Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us.”


The writer of the article concluded those remarks meant Francis believed animals have a place in the afterlife.



But the headline put Paul VI’s words in Francis’ mouth, and that became the story.



The Italian version of the Huffington Post picked it up next and ran an article quoting Francis as saying “We will go to heaven with the animals” and contending that the pope was quoting St. Paul — not Pope Paul — as making that statement to console a boy who lost his dog. (That story, by the way, is nowhere in the Bible.)



The urban legend became unstoppable a week later when it was translated into English and picked up by the British press, which cited St. Paul as saying that “One day we will see our animals again in (the) eternity of Christ,” while it has Francis adding the phrase: “Paradise is open to all God’s creatures.”


When The New York Times went with the story, along with input from ethicists and theologians, it became gospel truth.



Television programs discussed the pope’s theological breakthrough, news outlets created photo galleries of popes with cute animals, and others used it as a jumping off point to discuss what other religions think about animals and the afterlife.

At America magazine, the Rev. James Martin wrote an essay discussing the theological implications of Francis’ statements and what level of authority they may have. It was all very interesting and illuminating, but based on a misunderstanding.



A number of factors probably contributed to this journalistic train wreck:


• The story had so much going for it: Francis took his papal name from St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of environmentalism who famously greeted animals as brothers and sisters.

• Pope Francis is also preparing a major teaching document on the environment, and almost since the day he was elected in 2013 he has stressed the Christian duty to care for creation.

• Francis also blessed a blind man’s guide dog shortly after he was elected, an affecting image that was often used in connection with these latest reports of his concern for animals.

• Moreover, the media and the public are so primed for Francis to say novel things and disregard staid customs that the story was too good to check out; it fit with the pattern.


In most accounts, Francis’ comments were also set against statements by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who insisted that animals did not have souls. That apparent contrast fit a common narrative pitting the more conservative Benedict against the ostensibly liberal Francis.



That may be true in some areas, but probably not when it comes to animals.


Adding insult to injury, the Times article cited St. John Paul II as saying in 1990 that animals have souls and are “as near to God as men are.”
But that, too, was a misquote, as media critic Dawn Eden explained at the website GetReligion.



There should have been warnings signs: Francis has frowned at the modern tendency to favor pets over people, and he has criticized the vast amounts of money spent by wealthy societies on animals even as children go hungry




dog and cat sleep







While I would love to blame the media for being absolutely inept in reporting such an innocuous story <which makes you wonder about the truly big stuff> I think I will instead just say to the normal everyday people … “WTF.”







I didn’t care what any pope or religion said about my pet and where he ended up when he died. It didn’t really matter. The only thing that mattered is where I thought he belonged – somewhere in some blissful place where he could be rewarded for his unfailing companionship & strength he provided me.



dog looking at you

Is that heaven?




I don’t know.



And I don’t care.




And, in fact, I think it is an insult to all the great pets in the world, past, present & future, to make them human.



A great pet represents what we would LIKE a human to be. They are a standard to which most of us can only aspire to.

dog love snoopy

Go to heaven or not go to heaven?




That isn’t the question.


When they die … all dogs go to someplace better than we will ever go.

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Written by Bruce