Catholic Family News
A Monthly Journal Preserving our Catholic Faith and Heritage

John Vennari Quoted on NBC News - "All dog go to Heaven?"

December 12, 2014
Today I was interviewed by NBC about Francis' "All dogs go to heaven" claim. One small point, the interviewer, who was professional and polite, gives the impression that I claim only human beings have souls. Just to clarify: What I thought I had made clear, but perhaps did not make clear enough, is that animals have sensate souls (as plants have vegetative souls) but these organic souls die with the animal, whereas the human intellective soul (intellect and will) lives forever. - jv

New Dog-ma? Pope Says Heaven Is for Hounds, Too
by Tracy Connor, NBC News

Pope Francis' declaration that there are pups in paradise didn't come as a surprise to Boston College theologian Thomas Groome.

"There must be dogs in heaven. Or else it wouldn't be heaven," Groome said, quoting his grand-niece. He paused and quipped, "Now cats? I don't know about that. Cats would be more of a leap of faith for me."

The pontiff's comments on the eternal animal kingdom happened earlier this week as he consoled a little boy whose dog had recently died.

"One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God's creatures," he said, according to Italian news sources.

The remark thrilled vegans who apparently forgot the Pope loves a good steak and annoyed traditionalists who would like to muzzle the Vatican's most voluble occupant.

John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News and a staunch traditionalist, said the pope displayed "a triumph of sentiment over adherence to the firm doctrine that the church always taught throughout the ages.

"It might move the person's heart and make them feel good, but it has no basis in Catholic teaching," Vennari said.

His take: animals share external and internal senses with humans but don't have the will and intellect that form the basis of a "soul," and their life force dies with them and does not go to heaven.

"That's the basic teaching," Vennari said.

Does the pope's conversation with a grieving child change that? Traditionalists agree it does not.

"But it creates a confusion on the very idea of salvation," Vennari said. "Did Christ die for my cat? Did Christ die for my dog? No. Christ died for human beings."

click here for rest of article:

FOR THE RECORD: Now there is the claim that Francis never said this. Sad part: Based on Francis' past recklessness, it is believable that he would make such an utterance. Still waiting for a Vatican statement on the subject either way. Even the RNS report notes, "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" For the RNS report, go to:

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