Dogs Can Go To Heaven – Pope
Delighted city dog owners agreed Friday with Pope Francis’ comforting comment to a distraught boy that the lad’s recently departed canine would be welcome in the hereafter.
“That’s great!” said fashion designer Allina Liu as her pet pooch, Snoopy, hit the Union Square dog run. “All dogs go to heaven, right? There is no hell for dogs.
“There is hell for people who treat their dogs badly. People who treat their animals poorly just shouldn’t have them.”
The Pope, speaking earlier this week, offered his assurance of four-legged angels to the grieving child.
“Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures,” he said during the weekly papal address.
“This marvelous plan cannot but involve everything that surrounds us and came from the heart and mind of God,” the pontiff said.
The Pope’s stance was also hailed by animal-rights activists. Though his dog dogma appeared unexpected, there had been earlier clues to the Pope’s feelings about the animal kingdom. He took his papal name from St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Francis’ puppy views reverse opinions from previous popes, who maintained that heaven was just for human believers.
In a 2008 sermon, Pope Benedict XVI explained that not all creatures “are called to eternity” and when non-humans die, their deaths mean “solely the end of existence on earth.” The move seemingly barred pets from paradise.
Francis did not say if dogs could go to hell, too.
The puppy pardon is the latest move in his apparent campaign to make the Catholic church more inclusive and tolerant.
Earlier this year, he said gay men and women had “gifts” to offer the church, a dramatic shift in tone from the Vatican’s traditional anti-gay views. He also softened the church’s condemnation of premarital sex, cohabitation and divorce.
Health care worker Sarah Gluck, 26, said she was not religious, but definitely approved the Pope’s words.
“Dogs are a reflection of their owners; 99% of dogs go to heaven. But there’s always that 1%.”
Gluck said it’s too soon to know if her 4-month-old Australian shepherd will find eternal salvation.
“It’s hard to tell right now if Lilly is going to heaven because she’s so young,” said Gluck. “But if she goes to hell, it’ll be my fault.”
Dog walker Donna Bruno, 32, brought beagle-bulldog Hailey and Wheaten terrier Emma to the park with her.
She didn’t see how things could get any better for her canine charges.
“All dogs go to heaven?” Bruno asked as she watched the pair carouse happily with their equally excited pals.
“They’re already in heaven. Look at these guys,” she said.