POPE JOHN PAUL II: ANIMALS ARE ‘AS NEAR TO GOD AS WE ARE’ (Publ. Audience, 19th January 1990)
Will my dog, cat, hamster go to Heaven after he/she has died?
– Although we cannot know for sure what happens immediately after their death, we do have the assurance that all creatures, and that includes companion animals (pets), will ultimately enter the glory that is God’s Kingdom.
If we, in our limited way, can love them, how much more does God, their loving Creator?
To counter the notion that ‘animals do not have souls’, Pope John Paul II declared in a public audience on 19th January, 1990 that ‘also the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren’.
He continued: ‘All animals are the ‘fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect’, and that they are ‘as near to God as men are’.
– In the Eucharistic Prayer IV, life everlasting is expressed thus: “There (in your Kingdom), with the whole of creation, freed from the corruption of sin and death, may we glorify you”.