Pope Francis and Pets in Heaven?

Pope-FrancisPope Francis is a magnet for myths and urban legends – remember the one about him going out incognito at night to feed the homeless? – and he may have been the object of another one this week, with reports that he told a young boy that animals will go to heaven.

According to David Gibson of the Religion News Service, there’s no evidence Francis ever said that, despite the fact that it managed to wind up on the front page of the New York Times.

Pope-Paul-VIYes, a pope did once say that paradise is open to animals, but it was Pope Paul VI, not Francis. In the 1970s, Pope Paul VI said, “one day we’ll see our animals again in the eternity of Christ.”

According to Gibson’s reconstruction, the confusion began when Corriere della Sera, Italy’s main daily, ran a piece about some remarks by Francis on the renewal of creation, and the correspondent quoted the line from Paul VI. From there, it became conflated with what Francis had said, and it was off to the races.

Given that Francis has shown himself to be remarkably open to taking questions from the media, perhaps one day soon we’ll have the chance to ask what he actually believes about the salvation of pets.

For now, the first lesson is this: Beware of every breathless report you hear about Francis.

by John Allen Jr., Boston Globe – one part of article
December 13, 2014
http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2014/12/13/deal-with-it-francis-is-the-pope/

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