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Pets in Heaven? (Especially on May 21st)
EWTN.com ^ | not given | Dr. Richard Geraghty, PhD

Posted on 05/18/2011 2:31:49 PM PDT by Salvation

Pets in Heaven?


A question that comes up frequently is whether people will see their pets in heaven. Now the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not directly address this question. But it does hold principles which lead us in the direction of an answer.

One principle is that all living things have a soul. Here soul is defined as what makes an organic body live. Now when any living thing dies, its soul is separated from its body. In the case of plants and animals the soul goes out of existence. But in the case of man, the soul remains in existence because it is a spiritual or immaterial thing. Consequently, it differs from the souls of animals in two important respects. First, it is the seat of intelligence or reason.  For this reason a man is held responsible for his actions in a way that animals are not. Secondly, the soul is immortal. A thing which has no physical parts cannot fall apart or be poisoned or be crushed or be put out of existence. For this reason the souls of the saved will always be aware of themselves as enjoying the vision of God for all eternity. This enjoyment will be the result of having chosen to act on earth in such a way that one did the will of God rather than one's own will.  And the souls of the damned will be aware of themselves as never attaining this vision of God because they have shown by their lives on earth that they did not wish this vision but instead preferred their own will.

In the light of this essential difference between human beings and animals, it would seem that we would not see the souls of our pets in heaven for the simple reason that they do not have immortal souls and are not responsible for their actions. They do not have the intelligence which allows them to choose either God's will or their own will.  There is, then, an incomparable distance, say,  between the soul of the sorriest human being who ever lived and the most noble brute animal that ever walked the earth.

Now a child might be heartbroken at the thought that he will never see his pet again. He cannot yet understand this explanation about the difference between the human and the animal soul.  I suppose that one could tell the child that when he hopefully gets to heaven, he could ask God to see his old pets if he still wished to. There would be no harm in that. For we know that when a person finally sees God,  he will not be concerned with seeing old pets or favorite places but rather will be captured in the complete fulfillment of the joy of which old pets and favorite places are but little signs. We adults know that, even if the child does not.

For more information on how the Church sees animals in the lives of human beings, check the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2415-2418. You will learn, for example, that the Church, while it condemns cruelty to animals as an offense against the dignity of man, allow experiments on animals if done in a reasonable way.  Again, you will learn of the tremendous difference that the Church sees between the lowliest of human beings and the most noble of the animals.  It will allow animals to be used for food or clothing, but will defend the right of an innocent human being to live against Kings and Nations. The Church will demand that animals be respected as part of creation while at the same time insisting that the dignity owed a human being should never be given to an animal.


Answered by Dr. Richard Geraghty, PhD


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; heaven; kittyping; soul
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**But in the case of man, the soul remains in existence because it is a spiritual or immaterial thing. Consequently, it differs from the souls of animals in two important respects. First, it is the seat of intelligence or reason. For this reason a man is held responsible for his actions in a way that animals are not. Secondly, the soul is immortal. A thing which has no physical parts cannot fall apart or be poisoned or be crushed or be put out of existence. For this reason the souls of the saved will always be aware of themselves as enjoying the vision of God for all eternity. **

Animals can't be "saved" so they will not be in heaven.

Any other thoughts?

1 posted on 05/18/2011 2:31:54 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation

“Animals can’t be “saved” so they will not be in heaven.”

Agreed.


2 posted on 05/18/2011 2:35:08 PM PDT by Grunthor (RIDE THE CAIN TRAIN!)
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To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; Shannon; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; metmom; ...
WOOOF!

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

3 posted on 05/18/2011 2:35:15 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Salvation
I hope he is wrong.
4 posted on 05/18/2011 2:37:28 PM PDT by a6intruder (downtown with big bombs, 24/7, rain or shine, day or night)
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To: Salvation

I always like what my cousin said about this when the subject would come up - pets don’t go to Heaven, but if you get there and choose to ask for a loved pet to join you, God will make it so. Heaven is a place of rest and reward - if your perfect eternity includes having Fluffy and Spot, then they will be there.


5 posted on 05/18/2011 2:37:45 PM PDT by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country.----------In the same way Rush is balance, I am consensus.)
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To: Grunthor
How do you know?
6 posted on 05/18/2011 2:37:45 PM PDT by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: Grunthor

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21


7 posted on 05/18/2011 2:37:55 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Catechism of the Catholic Church 2415-2418

2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.
 
2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.
 
2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.
 
2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

8 posted on 05/18/2011 2:37:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: arderkrag

That is something I had never envisioned. However, does God always answer in the positive?


9 posted on 05/18/2011 2:39:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

William F. Buckley had a great story about this. I won’t do it justice but a woman asked a Jesuit priest if her little dog would be with her in heaven. The priest replied that if that was what it took to make her happy in heaven then the dog would be there. Great answer.


10 posted on 05/18/2011 2:39:22 PM PDT by hometoroost (Love the Onion story on a closed-ceremony "transparency" award. Oh wait, that actually happened.)
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To: Salvation

well, IMHO a person entering heaven will be rewarded for believing in GOD.
Part of that reward can be seeing your beloved companions.
Animals cannot enter heaven on their own, but maybe by the reqest of the person.
But who knows???


11 posted on 05/18/2011 2:40:21 PM PDT by Yorlik803 (better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
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To: Salvation

There is no way that a place called Heaven wouldn’t have my dog there.


12 posted on 05/18/2011 2:41:15 PM PDT by HighWheeler
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To: Salvation
In the case of plants and animals the soul goes out of existence.

When exactly is the "death" of a plant? An apple, say? When it is picked? Cored? Sliced? Sauced? Cidered?

Now, if one plant is grafted onto another, does the combination have 2 souls? When a plant is rooted to form a new plant, does the original plant's soul split between the two plants, or does the soul stay with the larger part of the original plant and a new soul get issued for the new part?

I sense a real growth industry in this new line of theology...

13 posted on 05/18/2011 2:41:20 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too...)
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To: Salvation

Through love, the soul of an animal is incorporated to some degree in the soul of the person who loves it. As long as the person does not go out of existence, the pet’s soul does not. As God remembers us, He remembers us in our entirety, and, as George MacDonald said, “What God remembers ‘is’”.


14 posted on 05/18/2011 2:41:20 PM PDT by old3030 (I lost some time once. It's always in the last place you look.)
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To: Salvation

Heaven is where we are too be fully happy. If that fullness means we need to see our pets we will see them.


15 posted on 05/18/2011 2:41:44 PM PDT by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
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To: Salvation

Well, no. But in our future perfected selves, all our desires will be perfectly in harmony with His purposes. If one of those desires turns out to be that you wish to have a pet by your side, I believe he would answer that particular request in the positive.


16 posted on 05/18/2011 2:41:50 PM PDT by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country.----------In the same way Rush is balance, I am consensus.)
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To: Salvation

OK. Here’s come quick thoughts:

If Revelation is an accurate portrayal of the future, then it would seem to indicate that there are animals in heaven since Jesus will return riding a white horse.

If things which do not have souls will not be in heaven, then creation is going to be disappointed since scripture says it is awaiting its liberation in Romans 8:19-21:
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

Are animals part of God’s creation? Yes.


17 posted on 05/18/2011 2:42:26 PM PDT by ZGuy
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To: Joe 6-pack

John 14:6


18 posted on 05/18/2011 2:42:26 PM PDT by Grunthor (RIDE THE CAIN TRAIN!)
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To: Salvation
Animals can't be "saved" so they will not be in heaven.

Well, the lion is going to lay down with the lamb somewhere. And Jesus comes back on a horse with a cavalry riding behind Him. Horse lovers will be happy.

Whether any specific pet will be there is anyone's guess, but if the Lord is going to restore creation to it's pre-sin state, there were animals before people.

19 posted on 05/18/2011 2:43:08 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Yorlik803

**for believing in GOD.**

I can believe in God, and disobey the commandments or be mean to my kids or neighbor.

How about

Love God with your whole strength, your whole heart, your whole mind and your whole body.

Love your neighbor as yourself.


20 posted on 05/18/2011 2:43:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: HighWheeler

+1.

I am reminded of an old Twilight Zone episode.


21 posted on 05/18/2011 2:43:55 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: Salvation

I dont believe Jesus had a dog. I think that says it all right there.
But you have to wonder, why not?

Anyone know about biblical references to dogs? I mean as pets?


22 posted on 05/18/2011 2:45:21 PM PDT by beebuster2000
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To: Salvation

While I understand and agree with the church’s position on this matter, I do believe we will be held accountable for how we treated animals during our lifetime.


23 posted on 05/18/2011 2:46:19 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: Salvation

Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. - Mark Twain.


24 posted on 05/18/2011 2:46:26 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too...)
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To: a6intruder

on 5/21/2011 i won’t put mt pomeranian down


25 posted on 05/18/2011 2:47:47 PM PDT by television is just wrong
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To: Salvation

According to the book of Mark (Twain), there are two heavens: “The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.”


26 posted on 05/18/2011 2:47:54 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too...)
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To: metmom

Will all my favorite books be in heaven?


27 posted on 05/18/2011 2:48:30 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: a6intruder

If my pets aren’t going to be there, I’m not sure it would be heaven.


28 posted on 05/18/2011 2:49:44 PM PDT by KYGrandma (The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home......)
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To: beebuster2000

the Syncho-Phoenician woman spoke to Jesus:

“Even the dogs eat the scraps under the table.”

However, I have always held this statement to be about the Gentiles (dogs)


29 posted on 05/18/2011 2:50:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

CS Lewis believed they would be there.


30 posted on 05/18/2011 2:50:25 PM PDT by balch3
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To: Salvation

What species would we say that doesn’t go to heaven?
Elephants, tigers bears snakes?


31 posted on 05/18/2011 2:52:10 PM PDT by mel (o fFR monthly...Do You?????)
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To: television is just wrong

LOL! Not putting your dog down, eh?

Imagine cooking supper while hold your dog? LOL!


32 posted on 05/18/2011 2:52:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: television is just wrong

LOL! Not putting your dog down, eh?

Imagine cooking supper while you hold your dog? LOL!


33 posted on 05/18/2011 2:52:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Pets will be in Heaven. They are an essential part of what makes us human. If God doesn’t have our beloved pets in Heaven, the afterlife will be quite disappointing and sad.

Somehow, I don’t think God would want sadness like that to tarnish Heaven.


34 posted on 05/18/2011 2:53:54 PM PDT by BCR #226 (02/07 SOT www.extremefirepower.com...The BS stops when the hammer drops.)
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To: mel

Weren’t the snakes banned forever to crawl on their belly, eat dirt and not enter the kingdom of heaven?

Or am I making that up?


35 posted on 05/18/2011 2:54:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Don’t tell my dog doesn’t have a soul or he will hump your leg.


36 posted on 05/18/2011 2:56:25 PM PDT by FlipWilson
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To: GraceG

If your favorite book is the Bible (in a manner of speaking)..... ;)

The hardest question my kids asked me is if their favorite stuffed animals would be real and with them in heaven.

The things they never tell you about motherhood.....


37 posted on 05/18/2011 2:56:56 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Salvation

Animals I’ve known have more soul than many twisted, vicious human beings. I was raised a Roman Catholic, but have adhered to no organized religion as an adult. I was raised by nuns in a working class boarding school. For 12 long years I saw first hand what kind of souls they had. Mean, cold, nasty, abusive, without heart. They even stole from us kids. And these were supposedly among humanity’s best and most holy. Bah!

If I make it to this place called heaven, if my dogs are not there I will want no part of it.


38 posted on 05/18/2011 2:59:11 PM PDT by Wolfstar ("If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his friend." Abraham Lincoln)
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To: allmendream

“I am reminded of an old Twilight Zone episode.”
It was called “The Hunt” and the dog’s name was Rip - one of Rod Serling’s best.


39 posted on 05/18/2011 2:59:11 PM PDT by dainbramaged (Courage is fear holding on a minute longer - George S. Patton)
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To: Salvation

They don’t need to be “saved” since, as far as we know they don’t sin.


40 posted on 05/18/2011 3:00:53 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Salvation
A Travel Guide to Heaven
By Anthony DeStefano
I have this book and think that it is a very good read. Its only 208 pages but a very good read that addresses some of these issues.

Snip: DeStefano tackles tough questions about heaven, including the role of angels, the measurement of time, marriages and whether pets will be there (“Of course!”). Fears of boredom are dispelled with his depictions of possible activities (“How about a tour of the Andromeda galaxy?”)
41 posted on 05/18/2011 3:01:01 PM PDT by RedMDer (restoration of our honor, dignity, and freedoms will save America. - Sarah Palin)
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To: dainbramaged
"Any place that's too high-falootin' for Rip is too fancy for me."
42 posted on 05/18/2011 3:03:20 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: Salvation

One person’s pet is another person’s delicacy.


43 posted on 05/18/2011 3:03:39 PM PDT by 353FMG (The M1911 is mightier than the sword.)
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To: Salvation

I suspect Heaven will have no muslims but all the Dogs.


44 posted on 05/18/2011 3:05:13 PM PDT by Hardraade (I want gigaton warheads now!!)
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To: Salvation

I’ve always loved the story of a man who dies and finds himself walking along a long road, with his old faithful dog trotting along by his side.

He reaches a set of magnificent gates, but when they open for him and he tries to walk through the fellow tending the gate tells him he can go in, but his dog can’t.

The man tells the gatekeeper that he’ll keep on walking, and he continues on with his dog by his side.

He then comes to a second set of gates, this set wooden and more rustic, which also open for him. He asks the gatekeeper whether he can take his dog in with him. Gatekeeper says “Sure! You both are welcome here.”

The man asks the gatekeeper “where am I?” The reply is “Heaven”.

The man is confused, asks “If this is Heaven, then what were those other set of gates back up the road?”

“Oh, that’s Hell. They do a really good job of screening out folks who would cross through while leaving their best friends outside. Now you and your buddy there go right on through.”


45 posted on 05/18/2011 3:05:19 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: mel
What species would we say that doesn’t go to heaven?

Cats.

46 posted on 05/18/2011 3:05:38 PM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: lastchance

AMEN to that!


47 posted on 05/18/2011 3:06:34 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation

My thoughts on heaven and hell are this: The deepest darkest depression that a person can experience is what will be experienced in hell. The difference with depression on earth and in hell is that hell is for all eternity without any periods of relief. It is a total feeling of hopelessness and despair. Whereas heaven is just the opposite. Think of the most joyful, ecstatic moment of your life, and that will be heaven. The difference with earth and heaven is that this joyous feeling of ecstacy never goes away. We will have no worries or fears. It is a constant. Also in heaven we will have the Lord with us. As far as our pets, if we are experiencing this joy without our pets, then we will not be missing them.


48 posted on 05/18/2011 3:06:58 PM PDT by murron (Proud Mom of a Marine Vet)
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To: dainbramaged

This was in one of Rod Serling’s short story collections (I think):

Man kills his wife but then feels guilty.
At a seance she speaks to him, says she’s in heaven, tells him she forgives him and that she looks forward to seeing him again. She then pleads for him to bring her dog with him when he comes. He kills the dog and commits suicide. In the final scene the dog comes running up to her all excited. He says “I’m glad I can be with you again forever here in heaven.” She says, “Oh wait, you’re a murderer, remember? You go to the other place.”


49 posted on 05/18/2011 3:07:25 PM PDT by ZGuy
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To: Salvation; Grunthor


"If dogs don't go to heaven, then I want to go where they go when I die."

-Will Rogers


50 posted on 05/18/2011 3:07:38 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (One of these days, Alice....one of these days.....POW!! Right in the kisser!!!!)
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