Pope Francis confirmed during his weekly address in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square that canines, along with “all of God’s creatures,” can make it to heaven.
The leader of the Catholic Church made the remark in order to comfort a young boy who was mourning the death of his dog, according to the New York Times.
“One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures,” said the 77-year-old Pontiff, according to Italian news sources.
Pope Francis has been cast as a much more liberal figure compared with his predecessors. Since ascending to the church’s helm last year, he has attempted to engage with homosexuals and unwed couples and backed the Big Bang Theory.
Correction: The original version of this story misattributed a quotation from Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, to Pope Francis. It was Pope Paul VI who said, “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ.” The original version of this story misinterpreted comments made by Francis who said in recent remarks, according to Vatican Radio, “The Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us.” This quotation was interpreted in press accounts to mean that the Pope believes all animals go to heaven. A Vatican spokesman told Reuters on Dec. 13 that this was not the Pope’s intended message.