Pope Francis has given hope to gays, unmarried couples and advocates of the Big Bang theory. Now, he has endeared himself to dog lovers, animal-rights activists and vegans.
Trying to console a distraught little boy whose dog had died, Francis told him in a recent public appearance on St. Peter’s Square that “paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”
While it is unclear whether the Pope’s remarks helped soothe the child, they were welcomed by groups like the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who saw them as a repudiation of conservative Catholic theology that says animals cannot go to heaven because they have no souls.
“My inbox got flooded,” said Christine Gutleben, senior director of faith outreach at the Humane Society. “Almost immediately, everybody was talking about it.”
Charles Camosy, an author and professor of Christian ethics at Fordham University, said it was difficult…
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