Conservative Catholics have a no-pets policy with respect to heaven because they say animals cannot pass through the Pearly Gates of heaven because they neither have souls nor are they baptised. In addition, animals don’t have the free will to decide between good and evil.
The current Pope is named after Francis, the patron saint of animals and it is therefore no surprise that he appears to have gone against the conservative Catholics in stating that “Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”
In saying this, the Pope has pleased many animal lovers, especially Catholic animal lovers I suspect, because it means that their pets can join them in Paradise.
The Catholic Church has opened the door to gays and divorcees who traditionally were the foes of the Catholic Church. Now Pope Francis is being feted, apparently, by animal rights groups for embracing animals (The New York Times reported).
In addition, Francis was quoted by Italian newspapers as claiming:
“One day, we will see your animals again in the eternity of Christ.”
Pope Francis appears to be rewriting the rules of the Catholic faith but then we know him as somebody who speaks his mind and makes off-the-cuff remarks. Perhaps the rules will not be rewritten as a result of the Pope’s entirely correct and charming sayings.
Pro-animal groups have been objecting to the conservative attitude of many Catholics in preventing animals going to heaven. Maybe this is an opportunity for change.
Cat lovers are all familiar with the Rainbow Bridge, which is a reference to a deceased cat being transported to heaven where they will be with other cats and dogs of the family who have died previously and where the cat’s owner will join them when their time comes.