Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Pinterest Connect on Google Plus Connect on LinkedIn

Are There Animals in Heaven?

July 25, AD2017

analogyLosing a pet can be difficult. My neighbor recently lost her pet kitten. Her eight-year-old daughter began crying inconsolably when she learned of this loss. She asked her mother what would happen to the kitten if she would go to heaven.

Many animal lovers wonder whether or not their furry friends will join them in heaven. They feel affection for their pets and are saddened when they die. They have come to naturally ask whether or not it is possible that heaven may be open to animals.

Respect for Creation

Pets can provide companionship to children and provide comfort to those who are sick, elderly or lonely. Many saints have had a special relationship with animals. They may have cared of one in need or may even have been helped by one. Their deep love for God inspired them to love all of creation. They recognized that each living creature has its own unique value in the eyes of God and reflects God’s wisdom and goodness.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of the respect we should have for creation and the affection many saints have shown for animals. It states:

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. (CCC 2416)

At the same time, it also cautions us. It states, “One can love animals; [but] one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons” (CCC 2418).

St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology, is well known for his love for all of creation. He praised nature and recognized that all of nature also praised God their Creator who tenderly loves each and every one of his creatures. St. Francis is known to have tamed a wild wolf and then had the villagers of Gubbio promise to feed this hungry wolf. He preached to the birds, saying:

My sister birds, you owe much to God, and you must always and in everyplace give praise to Him; for He has given you freedom to wing through the sky and He has clothed you… you neither sow nor reap, and God feeds you and gives you rivers and fountains for your thirst, and mountains and valleys for shelter, and tall trees for your nests.

His address to them was a commentary on Jesus’ invitation to trust in God’s loving care. He loves and cares for all his creatures (Luke 12:22-34).

Like St. Francis, St. Clare of Assisi also gave up a life of wealth to live a simple life of poverty and like him, she also had a deep passion for all of creation. She often spoke with various animals and nursed injured rabbits or birds back to health. She invited her sisters to look upon everything and everyone that surrounded them, every tree, human being, and creature. She asked them to recognize the uniqueness of each one and to realize that together they all participate in the gift of life.

St. Philip Neri, known as the Apostle of Rome, was a 16th-century saint who dedicated his life to serving God but is also remembered for his kindness to cats. He often journeyed through the streets of Rome with his pet red cat in a basket. He later gave his followers the responsibility of caring for her and insisted that they give him regular reports about her wellbeing as a way of teaching them humility.

St. John Bosco (1815-1888) was protected by a large gray dog that would mysteriously appear when he needed protection and assistance. He kept him from danger. The dog defended him from thieves and from those who threatened the saint because of his work with homeless youth.

Biblical Images of Heaven

Ultimately, death and life after death are a mystery. We are not given a clear picture of what heaven will look like. Many of the images used in the Bible are not meant to be understood literally. They are symbols, describing a reality that is beyond anything we could ever imagine.

Isaiah includes animals in his description of the new heavens and new earth. He describes it as a place where “the wolf and the lamb shall pasture together, and the lion shall eat hay like the ox” (Isaiah 65:25). St. Paul suggests that all of creation which shared in the punishment of corruption caused by sin will also share humanity’s future glory and freedom. It states:

For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God (Romans 8:19-21).

Accounts of creation both open and end the Bible. Genesis, the first book of the Bible, begins with the story of God’s creation, with Adam and Eve living in a garden, the garden of Eden. God declares creation as “good” and views all of creation as holy. The Bible ends with the account of a new creation. The Book of Revelation describes God’s eternal kingdom in heaven using the images of a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1-22:5). It is not described as a garden but as a heavenly city in which God dwells among his people in peace and understanding. He is their light and will wipe every tear from their eyes. Like the image of the kingdom of God as a banquet, this image describes heaven as a community of sisters and brothers who live together with God, seeing them in God and God reflected in them.

Pope Francis states that we are all journeying towards the new Jerusalem, our eternal and common home in heaven. He reminds us of Jesus’ declaration, “I will make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Pope Francis describes the nature of heaven in Laudato Si’. He states:

Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all.

He also mentions that in the end, “the very flowers of the field and the birds which his human eyes contemplated and admired are now imbued with [the Lord’s] radiant presence.” The perfection of the kingdom of God will somehow transform and renew the rest of creation also.

Will There Be Animals in Heaven?

In the end, we do not have a definitive answer about whether or not there will be animals in heaven. It has not been clearly revealed to us. The teachings of the Church and the Bible both focus on teaching us what is necessary for our own salvation, on how we may be able to reach heaven. We are taught that heaven is a face-to-face encounter with God, an exchange of love between God and humans. Many people feel closer to God when they meditate on the beauty of nature, including the animals, and it is difficult for them to envision happiness without all of God’s creatures. God asks us to trust him. In the end, he will give us everything we will need to have true happiness and enjoy his goodness.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Nada Mazzei is a freelance writer from Toronto, Ontario. She has an MA in Theology from the University of St. Michael's College and a ThM from the University of Toronto, with a focus on New Testament Studies. She is fluent in Italian and French. Born and raised a Catholic, she is interested in the lives and writings of St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe below to receive a daily digest of all our essays.

Thank you for supporting us!

  • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

    In the Apocalypse it describes how Christ returns on a white horse, so at least we know there is a horse in heaven.

  • Johnny

    I would assume it is questionable that every animal that dies on earth goes to heaven, but hopefully God in his goodness will have animals that we had as pets join us in heaven, and whatever animals we would want to see or be around us, as God fulfills every upright desire of the soul.

  • jmikalajunas

    Christ came, taught lived among us.He died, rose and ascended into heaven to destroy sin and open heaven for humanity. Christ died for sin. Francis and Philip Neri loved animals however no animal has been baptized because it had original sin. .Jesus became one of us in human form and did not become an animal. Sorry animal lovers. No heaven for your pets.

    • Thunder Paws

      Animals do not need baptism. They were created complete and for goodness sake are not culpable for sin. Pope Francis disagrees with you and so do I. The Holy Father said that heaven is open to all God’s creatures.

  • bellfri

    I hope my pets will be reunited with me in heaven. Somehow although they are not “made in the image of God” they do have the ability to inspire love and some seem to return “love” as well. Who knows? Anything is possible with God.

  • Patsy

    Goodness. The “logic” of Theology not needed here. Only the “logic” of Love. Think of all those abused animals that have been mistreated, abandoned and unloved by us humans. Is that all there is for these poor creatures, an existence of misery? I doubt that. I believe our loving God will restore to perfection and happiness ALL whom and what He has created (excepting, sadly, those have turned there back on HIim). But of course, animals do not and will not have to capacity to have the intimate union of Love that humans are destined for with our Triune God. But God does not turn His back on these lesser of His Creation…these precious and innocent animals will be our delight in Heaven. God does not destroy that which he has declared “good”.. only the evil which mankind has done.

  • One of the brothers on EWTN indicated that animals just die and that’s it. It was a really sad theory he shared and I never looked at EWTN quite the same way.
    Of course animals go to heaven, IMHO. I think Scripture itself indicates that.

    • Marty Dancy

      I try not to worry about all this stuff. If animals can add to our ability to love and care for someone or some animal, well, they have served their purpose in one’s life. I just leave all in God’s hands and try not to reason around things. Just be happy to be alive, try to live the commandments, believe in Jesus and go to church and just live the christian life and leave all worries and doubts to the Lord. We will learn the answers when we meet the Lord.

    • Thunder Paws

      His opinion. I don’t share it.

  • Jim Bob Bubba

    I don’t understand why there is any question about it.
    We can follow this through logically.
    We were made to be corporeal and spiritual beings in creation.
    Death entered the world because of the fall of man, therefore death was not in the world before this, therefore animals were not created to die.
    In the Bible, and from saints we know that Jesus has said that at the end of time He is going to remake Heaven and earth as it was meant to be before the fall of man.
    Now why would He remake earth with man, mountains, oceans, sky, plants… but not animals?
    THAT’S. JUST. SILLY.
    There’s more to it, but I’m keeping it simple.

    • DJR

      D’accord.

      Sacred Scripture is absolutely clear that the concept of death did not exist in the material world until the fall of Adam. Wisdom 2:24 and Romans 5:12. Therefore, had Adam not fallen, animals would not die. There was no such thing as death.

      God created things to live. The idea that God created animals to die borders on blasphemous. He is the God of the living. Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27, and Luke 20:38.

      Sacred Scripture is also clear that God will renew all of creation at the end of time. Romans 8:22 and Apocalypse 21:5.

      The damned will, of course, be excluded.

    • EC

      The animals are not descendants of Adam. Nothing in Scripture indicates animals didn’t die before the Fall. Plants certainly did…

      There might be all kinds of surprises in the New Creation, but animals do not have a resurrection. There is no separate soul, as there is for us, which can be reunited with their body. Could God remake all kinds of plants and animals again? Sure.

    • Jim Bob Bubba

      Actually animals do have souls or else they would not be alive. However, they do not have soul and spirit like we do. Which is why we can be damned.

    • EC

      Yes.

  • TJ

    Every act an animal does glorifies God. Humans, who were given free will, can do things that do not glorify God. The innocence of animals is something which draws humans to animals

    • Andrew

      Innocent in what way? Animals are not moral agents so they have no will and are incapable of reflection up on their actions, thus they are incapable of sin. So in that sense they are “innocent”, but animals still prey upon other animals, still destroy things, still can cause havoc and destruction. They just do what they do. Human beings to have an intellect and a will and CAN choose! To simply be a robot and just do what we’re “programmed” to do doesn’t say much. We can choose to love God or not, which is why it’s terrible when we sin and all the more beautiful when we don’t.

    • Thunder Paws

      Robot? Programmed? Porpoises have been known to save humans from shark attacks. How many people have been warned of danger such as fire by their dog before the household was aware of it. I have had three rescue dogs and they suffered plenty at human hands. Thank God Pope Francis’ heart isn’t so small and petty that he isn’t threatened by the thought of animals in the hereafter.

    • Andrew

      I don’t think anyone is “threatened” by the concept of animals in heaven, least of all me. Whether or not there are animals in heaven, whether or not there are specific animals in heaven, it matters little if you and I aren’t going to be there. Hell is not a place we want to be. There is no end to eternity, so perhaps we should focus on our salvation and worry about where our souls are heading.

    • Thunder Paws

      Right you are and you have made my point. Whether you, I or anyone else makes it to heaven has no impact upon the new and restored creation that will come about solely through God’s creative power and will.

    • balloonknot9

      you forgot to mention their beauty as well. If as Christians we believe in the sacredness of beauty and design churches and such with that belief then their beauty also gives glory to God and shows us how wonderful and life giving our Lord is.

  • ManeeVee

    Although our souls go to heaven, and we are promised a resurrected body raised from the dead, it is not like our material, created-for-earth body.

    Material things, created things, are for earth. Material created things do not go to heaven.

    Though children see animals as like us, they might not know animals don’t have souls. The animal, once it dies, dies. It does not have eternal life.

    It is our inordinate attachment to the material things of this world that is wounded when an animal dies. It shows we love it more than we should love the material world.

    For children, if they are particularly grieved at a pet’s death, it might be kinder to explain we don’t know what God has planned for those who love Him, and let it go at that. But we do no kindness to children, when they are older (like 7 or 8) to not explain animals have no souls, and the Church teaches only those with souls have eternal life – the just and good go to heaven, those who defied God go to hell.
    Animals are like any other created thing, they cease to be when they die.

    I had a beloved pet who died about 10 years ago. He was an incredible companion whom I loved dearly. I saw many examples of his returned love for me, for the bond he had with me. I grieved mightily when he died. It comforted me to think he joined God when he died. I knew better, but my heart was so broken, I comforted myself with the idea he would greet me when I died.

    Now that time has passed, and that wound has healed, I remember him with fondness, but don’t feel the need to see him and be rejoined with him.

    I think being as compassionate as possible with a grieving person while telling the truth is the best course of action.

    • mjhunt102

      “Telling the truth” does not have the result you seem to desire. I doubt catholicism more and more as I get older, and your post only helps continue that.
      You say your pet “returned love” but was just a material thing. That is nonsensical. No one would say a wall or returned love.
      I reject any suggestion that any god would create being beings that suffer and return love and then have no sort of afterlife for them.
      It may be that animals cannot perceive god the same way as us, but if creation is to be restored on the new earth, surely animals would be resurrected too.
      Of course, sometimes i have doubted the existence of any god. In that case, there is no afterlife for any being. But, I will not believe in a god that gives an afterlife to humans but not animals.

    • EC

      Friendship is based on equality. It’s part of why God became a man – so we could more closely befriend Him. Then He subjected His own sacred flesh to our cruelest tortures out of love for us… The full vision of this very God is the consummation of a love that satisfies, with or without any other created thing.

    • DJR

      Please keep believing in God. He is going to restore His creation at the end of time. There is every reason to believe that that includes animals.

      There are different levels of Heaven, as Saint Paul makes abundantly clear. 2 Corinthians 12:3. There is no reason to believe that animals could not inhabit some level of Heaven or have some sort of existence in the world to come.

      God created things to live. Through sin came death. By Christ’s death, everything will be renewed at the end of time.

      I agree with what you wrote. If a dog were merely a material thing, it would be no different from a wall and could obviously not give love.

      But dogs can give love, as anyone who has owned one knows.

    • ManeeVee

      Matthew 13: 1-23
      I refer you to the whole passage, but here is the part I thought of when I read your response to my comment:

      Matt 20 “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.”

    • mjhunt102

      Citing that passage is unhelpful. The issue is that your position makes no sense. An animal cannot be a mere material thing if it returns love. Period.
      Therefore, if your position is actually catholic teaching, catholicism (and perhaps Christianity) must be rejected.

    • ManeeVee

      I cited the passage to show you that you are probably what Jesus referred to as ‘rocky ground’ – the kind of person He describes in that passage. The point was that people like you (according to Jesus) often believe at first, but then trials and persecutions (meaning things the Gospel teaches they don’t like or don’t think is true, or things that make them suffer) come into it, and they reject God’s word rather than see how they are wrong.

      In other words, your type, (based on your saying “I doubt catholicism more and more as I get older”) was not unknown even long ago, even to Jesus, and just a sad example of how some people reject the Truth in order to have things their own way, and not have to convert themselves to God’s way.

      That being said, reject the teachings of the Church at your own risk.

    • mjhunt102

      There is no “having things my own way” It is not rational to say an animal is a mere material thing if it returns love.
      It only makes sense that in deciding whether to put my faith in something, I will determine whether its teachings make sense. This is why I do not my faith in Islam.
      I was born and raised catholic, so I have not made a choice. I have not made a final decision to abandon my faith.
      I do not what the outcome for my journey will be. Given how many respected catholic authors reject your views, it may be that I need not accept them. It makes no sense for the new earth not to include animals. There would be no reason for a resurrection if the new earth were not related to the material world. But, there are many other teachings i have doubts about, and the extreme majority of people will never accept.
      Leaving the catholic church is only a sad outcome if the church actually has any authority, which is the very question I struggle with.

    • ManeeVee

      I only have a recommendation for you. If you have not already done so, get a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by John Paul II. Read it and determine if you can assent to the doctrine printed there. Look at the rational logical explanations of the doctrine contained in that book, and decide if those reasons make sense to you.

      Theologians are of no use to you. They do not teach doctrine, they speculate. You have to know whether you believe what the Church actually teaches. You need an adult understanding of Church teaching, stated clearly and plainly so you can see where the roadblocks for you are.

      And then pray directly to God from your heart to lead you to the Truth. Ask Him to help you know if what the Church teaches is true or not. Ask Him to make it very evident to you. I believe you will be helped, and He will lead you to the Truth.

      But once He does, you still will have to take the leap of faith across the chasm. There is no way out of that.

  • F.Nazar

    Only humans have resurrection of the bodies at the end of times, only because the body is attached to the immortal soul.
    That means that a particular dog will never resurrect BUT that doesn’t mean that all metaphysical entities will cease to exist!
    The whole creation will be re-generated!

    • Dogman

      Agree completely. When you consider that our physical reality is but an tiny spec in size compared to the kingdom of Heaven, the idea of wondering what from this world will exist there, is silly. Anything and everything that Our Lord considered worth creating will be there. Trees, flowers, water and yes, animals. Why? Not because they serve any practical purpose; but because God was pleased to create them. And just because our fallen nature has introduced death and corruption to this world does not mean Our Lord is bound by it. Indeed, He has overcome it, and makes all things new.

    • Thunder Paws

      Amen!!

    • Dogman

      Us asking “will there be animals/pets in heaven?” is like a bunch of fish in a fishbowl wondering if there’s any water out there on the other side of that glass. 🙂 God Bless!

  • Mark Harden

    Animals in heaven, but not YOUR particular pet, which has no immortal soul. If we were to propose that a specific animal could gain eternal life, then we must also admit the possibility of an animal being damned to Hell for eternity…which is absurd. Eternal life is a relationship with God that is only possible for human beings.

    • Ray Sullivan

      God can do anything, even re-create your pet in heaven, if it’s according to His will…

    • Ronky

      He could, but there’s absolutely nothing in Scripture or Sacred Tradition to suggest that He will, and plenty to suggest that He probably won’t.

      If and when we get to Heaven, we will be so supremely happy to be in the presence of God face to face, that we won’t “miss” our former pets at all. (Nor will we even miss those whom we loved on earth, some of whom almost certainly will be in Hell.)

      If you find it too hard to wrap your head around that truth, and try to imagine what Heaven is like by telling yourself that all the people and animals that you loved will be there, then that’s fine if it helps you strive for Heaven all the more. Just don’t try to preach it to others as doctrine.

    • DJR

      “He could, but there’s absolutely nothing in Scripture or Sacred Tradition to suggest that He will, and plenty to suggest that He probably won’t.”

      On the contrary, Sacred Scripture is absolutely clear that the concept of death did not exist in the material world until the fall of Adam. Wisdom 2:24 and Romans 5:12.

      Therefore, had Adam not fallen, animals would not die. There was no such thing as death in the material world.

      God created things to live. The idea that God created animals to die borders on blasphemous. He is the God of the living. Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27, and Luke 20:38.

      Sacred Scripture is also clear that God will renew all of creation at the end of time. Romans 8:22 and Apocalypse 21:5.

      The damned will, of course, be excluded.

      How would the animals have died, if Adam had not sinned?

      Do animals have immortal rational souls? No.

      But they didn’t have immortal rational souls in Eden either, and they did not die until Adam sinned. There was no such thing as “death” in the material world until he did so.

      The Bible is also clear that, when God wills, animals have the ability to speak. They can also perceive the presence of angels. Numbers 22:21, et seq.

      There are also numerous accounts in the lives of various saints regarding the miraculous doings of animals. Saint Anthony and Saint John Bosco, Saint Francis and Saint Mammas come to mind.

    • EC

      Are you really sure there was no such thing as death until the Fall? Plants are living things too, you know… And they were told to eat those. So either death occurred, or plants miraculously survived digestion.

      In fact, bodily immortality for humans is a preternatural gift (along with incorruptibility and infused knowledge), not a requirement of the state of pure nature. So no, it does not “border on blasphemous,” it is accepted scholastic theology.

      As to your other comment, which you’ve repeated here, sure, I believe a saint could do such a thing – but the substantial form of the dead animal is necessarily unrepeatable, as the animal soul is a product of a singular incidence of bodily organization, viz., flesh. Even if you replicate the flesh exactly, it’s a new instantiation of that flesh, and so it has a new substantial form (which is the soul). Supposing the “soul” is what we care about, inasmuch as it determines it is “this” living animal, that seems quite unrepeatable. Just because St. Anthony had a donkey bow to a monstrance does not mean “there are many stables in the Father’s house.”

      Cheers…

    • DJR

      “Are you really sure there was no such thing as death until the Fall?

      Yes, I am sure.

      “For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world. And they follow him that are of his side. Wisdom 2:23-25.

      Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. Romans 5:12.

      On this issue, I have seen the reference to “plant death” many times. I will leave it to others to compare “plant death” with the “death” spoken of in Sacred Scripture, specifically, those passages referenced above.

      If Adam had not sinned, would he have died?

    • EC

      I notice neither of your chosen verses include “animals” in them. Were animals the object of the Devil’s envy? Are animals now intrigued by the lure of Satan and “follow” him? Do animals sin?

      I’ve addressed the status of bodily immortality above. It is a preternatural gift and did not need to be given to Adam, but it was. (Nor was sanctifying grace a necessary component of his soul.) It was lost at the Fall. You might find Fr. Hardon’s commentary on these matters helpful, or Garrigou-Lagrange. They’re online.

    • DJR

      If Adam had not sinned, would he have died?

      Yes, the verses cited do include “animals,” as they are part of “the world” (“death came into the world”).

      Animals may not be “the object” of the devil’s envy, but he still hates them. The devil hates all of God’s creation. That includes the animals.

      No, animals don’t follow Satan, nor do they sin. But God created animals to live, not to die, just as he created all “living” things to live (angels, men, animals).

      The issue is the same with calamities. There were no calamities before the fall, but the earth is not the object of the devil’s envy either.

      However, that fact does not stop the existence of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, et cetera.

      You think those things happened before Adam sinned? If so, then his life would have been at risk before the fall.

      Further, if animals died before the fall, then it would have to be admitted that Adam could have died before the fall as well.

      If the carnivores were killing other animals, then Adam himself would have been fair game. In fact, he would have been easier to kill, as man is slower than most animals.

      So, what we are to believe is that Adam spent his time in Eden before the fall, however long that was, trying to preserve his life from carnivorous animals and perhaps having to kill them himself out of self preservation in the event any of them set their eyes on him or his wife.

      If animals died before the fall as a result of their eating each other, then Adam’s life would have been at risk as well, which means it would have been possible for him to die before Original Sin was committed.

    • EC

      Hi DJR,

      This will be my last reply to you. I don’t think you are bothering to read the sources I’ve recommended, so I don’t see much point in continuing to debate the issue. Your reading of Paul is at odds with the common sense interpretation of that verse and also with the clear fact that plants died – which is DEATH. There is no anthropological, eschatalogical, or spiritual reason why death would be precluded per se, in any classical exposition of Catholic protology. As for calamities, feel free to speculate, but they would not have killed or harmed Adam given the fact of the preternatural gifts… So you have contradicted yourself yet again, or you just don’t understand what the principle of his immortality was.

      Peace…
      -EC

    • DJR

      No, plant “death” is not “death” in the sense used in Sacred Scripture in relation to Adam.

      I have read plenty of “sources” on the issue. Which one of them do you claim is authoritative?

      I haven’t contradicted myself in any fashion. I just don’t believe in your opinion, and that’s what it is, nothing more.

      What your opinion calls for is that God created “death” (plant “death” is not relevant to what Sacred Scripture talks about when it speaks of “death”).

      There are plenty of sources on that as well. They, too, are online.

      To get back to the topic, there is nothing whatsoever that precludes animals in Heaven.

      God created things to live.

    • DJR

      “I don’t think you are bothering to read the sources I’ve recommended…”

      Volume 5, No. 3, of the May/June 1999 issue of Catholic Faith. Father Hardon.

      “A. Pets, as pets, do not go to Heaven. But animals and such like beings may be said to be brought to Heaven because, after the last day, they can serve as part of the joys of Heaven.

      In other words, animals and such like creatures may be said to be brought to Heaven to serve as part of our Heavenly joys. Clearly, we do not need pets to provide happiness in Heaven. But pets and such like creatures will be brought to Heaven to become part of our creaturely happiness in the Heavenly kingdom.

      Consequently, we may say that animals and such like creatures may be brought to Heaven by God to enable us to enjoy them as part of our creaturely happiness in Heavenly beatitude.”

      You see, I’m not averse to reading your prescribed sources. And, of course, I have read G-L. I have his book re the afterlife.

    • EC

      Hi DJR,

      I was speaking with regard to you heterodox claim that animals die because Adam sinned – as if Adam somehow was their father. Original sin and the loss of the preternatural gifts is on account of generation… Not “just because.” Your thesis is arbitrary and warps your reading of Scripture to the point where you don’t want to admit that plants dying is DEATH. It is the SAME kind of death as animals experience – the dissolution of the composite which destroys the principle of life.

      http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1097.htm

      http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/God/God_013.htm

      https://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/grace2.htm

      These sources could be multiplied. As for the Fr. Hardon citation you’ve given, it is a pastoral way of squaring the circle I’ve presented. It does not jive with the clear teaching of Thomas (and the Church, admitting the logical extension of the teaching of the Council of Vienne on the soul) that animal souls are products of the body.

      http://www.u.arizona.edu/~aversa/scholastic/24Thomisticpart2.htm

      See 14. I see no clear way to admit the re-introduction of “the same soul” as I’ve described above given the animal soul’s character.

      I responded because you provided a citation, but now I really can’t continue this here. I hope the sources I’ve provided can help you see that what you are saying does not fit into Catholic protology.

      Peace,
      -EC

    • EC
    • Ronky

      That was one reason why God encircled the Garden with rivers and instructed Adam to “guard” it – to keep man-eating animals out.

    • Mike Gannome

      Dinosaurs lived and DIED long before Adam existed.

    • Thunder Paws

      According to the Old Testament everything that has lifeblood has a soul, albeit not a human soul (also see St. Paul), ergo, the Latin “anima” from which we get the word “animal”. Plants do not have lifeblood so were suited as food in Genesis since death had not yet entered the Garden.

  • EC

    Our culture is far too attached to its pets – we tend to worry more about their salvation than about our own. If you get to Heaven, you will not be unhappy because Fido is not there. The ecstatic vision of the Triune God, bursting forth with perfect love which you get to reciprocate unabashedly with as much energy as your nature can handle, will be enough. These discussions remind me of the Native Americans who asked one Jesuit missionary (Brebeuf, perhaps?) whether there would be tobacco in his Heaven… He said, “You won’t want tobacco in my Heaven.” They told him they didn’t want to go to his Heaven!

    If animals can go to Heaven, can they go to Hell? Some pets are not so nice. Maybe we make the distinction between the physical element of the New Creation and the Beatific Vision which pervades the experience of it for the rational soul who has been saved. Fine. Did they “merit” this state of limbo?

    Also, are the fleas and ticks and mosquitos and cockroaches going to be in Heaven too? Why not the cacti and fungus and bacteria and amoebas? Don’t they get to be happy forever too?

    There is a reason we say “for us men and for our salvation,” and not “for us and for our salvation,” as some trendy people like to change the Creed to… It is only human beings who are saved. The question of “whether there will be animals” is distinct from “whether there will be the same animals.” There is no such thing as a separated animal soul, so it is not at all clear how there could be an animal who dies and then is alive again as the same animal. What would that even mean? The animal soul is destroyed with the animal body. Perhaps God populates the New Creation with animal life as a superabundant expression of His creative power for the sake of our secondary, tertiary, quarternary pleasure (or whatever), but there is no resurrection of the dead animals.

    • DJR

      There are accounts in the lives of various saints, attested to by eyewitnesses, that some saints have brought animals back to life. If saints can do such a thing, obviously, Our Lord can.

      Are we to believe that all the accounts are mere fables?

      Saint Francis of Paola brought back to life several of his animals. The accounts even give the names that the saint gave to the animals.

      There’s no reason to disbelieve the accounts of such miracles.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_of_Paola#cite_note-12

  • balloonknot9

    won’t let me paste picture

  • balloonknot9

    I look forward to spending eternity with all the animals, pet and wild, in the ceaseless joy that is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in Heaven. Some days I can’t wait much longer. It is Paradise.

    • Eddie

      Amen, I agree. It is going to be amazing.

  • adam aquinas

    Of course animals join their human friends in the afterlife. Heaven isn’t a place on another planet or a palace in other galaxy. It’s a state of continued consciousness where people and creation who love exist together. Most animals I have encountered are fr more loving and loyal, compassionate and empathetic, caring and giving than most human animals. Their consciousness continues in the same dimension that our will continue. Cruelty to a non-human animal is equivalent to cruelty to a human animal. We are all equal in the light of the highest power. Yes, our non human friends continue with us.

    • Caine

      Really Adam? The Bible only states that humans were made in the image and likeness of God. I don’t recall the Bible stating that all of God’s creation was made this way. God also gave dominion of animals to humanity. This means that we are not equal to the rest of the animal kingdom. I wonder how you would be so certain that, “animals join their human friends in the afterlife.” Why do you even post on this site if you’re not a Catholic and try to come across as such an authority on the subject matter?

    • adam aquinas

      Really Caine? The bible is host of contradictions. There are two versions of Genesis,there are two sets of ten commandments in Exodus, there was no census at the time of the birth of Christ, Solomon did not have 700 wives and 300 concubines, the Ark story is a myth, and I could give you 1300 other examples. If you believe the bible then why did god tell Noah to save the animals and not the people. If god wrote the bible, why didn’t he get the facts right? I am a contextual student of biblical study and you?

    • samton909

      Really Adam? The Bible is hardly a host of contradictions. A book does not last two thousand years and the scrutiny of millions and be a host of contradictions. Only the weak minded and gullible believe such a thing. There are not two versions of Genesis (where do you get this nonsense?), no, there are not two sets of the ten commandments. You appear to be easily led. The fact that no one has yet discovered evidence for a census at the time of Christ does not mean that there was no census at the time of Christ. The people who wrote the Gospels were only writing about 50-100 years after the events took place, and surely someone at the time would have said “What census? There was no census!” and the whole thing would have fallen lilke a house of cards. You do not know anything at all about Solomon, the Ark, etc. We have a generation of know nothing idiots who think they know something and are very proud to display their complete ignorance. My Goodness.

    • EC

      Samton – I think he means the Elohist/Yahwist narratives of creation… As if these are contradictory. (There are two other creation stories in the Bible, BTW… So we have 4 to reconcile, not just 2!) Or perhaps he means the differences between the Masoretic and Septuagint texts? He’s not told us, but we have it on his authority that the Bible “didn’t get the facts right” anyway, so… Either he is a TROLL or has made up his mind that he is right and the authors and first readers of Scripture were so dumb dumb dumb that they didn’t notice such “contradictions” as such immediately, if they are that at all.

    • adam aquinas
    • Caine

      Really Adam? Where in the Bible did God tell Noah to save the animals and not the humans? Do you mean those humans who had turned their backs on God? In Genesis 6:18, God says to Noah, “But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you” (ESV). 1 Peter 3:20 states that there were eight people on the Ark. How’s that for context? You must not be a very good student. Oh, and just because you write something doesn’t make it true. Why can’t you ever backup your statements with credible sources? If you’re going to be a troll, you should at least give it some effort.

    • Thunder Paws

      Well, I am a Catholic. The writer of this article well quotes St. Paul that the whole creation (the Greek term used is cosmos ) which was corrupted because of human sin has also been redeemed by Christ. Nature is surely out of sync since the Fall but animals, unlike humans do not sin and there is no need to diminish them because they are not human. They glorify God by their very being. As far as dominion is concerned it was never meant to lead to the destruction and exploitation humans have so often inflicted on our planet. The New Testament clearly teaches that all creation came into being through, in and for Christ and we will have to give an account of our stewardship. The Orthodox Church has a beautiful teaching that part of humanity’s role is to be priests offering all creation back to God. Too often our lack of humility has caused us to be exactly the opposite. I’m with Pope Francis on this one.

    • Dogman

      One of things I love most about dogs is how all they really want is to be with their master; how happy they are just to be with you. Mine literally cries when I come home. I’ve often thought that this is how we should be with OUR Master. We should want nothing more, than to just be with Him.

    • Eskimo man

      Yes, very true, I’ve never looked at it that way. It also means we should treat our dogs the right way in caring for them, and letting them be a part of our lives, instead of leaving them in the backyard to rot.

    • Sue Distefano

      Thunder, good response.

    • Why the Ark, Caine? Animal imagery regarding heaven is totally scriptural.

    • Dawn

      Caine, in your reply to Adam…..WHAT does being made in the image and likeness of God have to do with God Almighty NOT having animals in heaven???? Did NOT this same God not have respect for his creation, (animals) that he made sure that seven animals of every species be in the ark with Noah, not just domestic animals for farming?? Do NOT put God in a box…..eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love him! God can enable beasts alike to be in heaven with Him and those who love Him, see Isaiah’s description of what a smattering of heaven will be like. Take a good look on You tube and enter…..the girl who paints heaven. This little girl, now grown, has a talent given by God to glorify Him. And she has seen animals in heaven. Because God has given man dominion over animals does NOT mean YOU know either whether God will NOT permit,animals in heaven. Because of his love for his creation, both human and animal alike, animals, could be part of His plan to be in heaven. By, the way, don’t be arrogant, NO ONE except those who were given a Near death experience, taken to heaven like St. Paul, or who were allowed to see bits of heaven and returned back to earth can for sure say whether our animals are in heaven. If people who went to heaven for a short duration (Near Death Experience) saw trees, flowers, rivers, etc. Do YOU really think God would omit his animal creation????

    • Caine

      Dawn, my response was to the actually arrogant Adam. Being made in the image and likeness of God and having dominion over God’s creation was meant to demonstrate that humans are above the animals. You, for instance, are more valuable to God than a leopard frog. I know there are little dogs out there who have never hurt a fly and there are humans out there like Hitler, but, humans are still above the rest of the animal kingdom. I questioned how Adam could be certain that animals go to heaven. He can’t. That’s arrogance. Also, as you contradicted yourself by saying, “…eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love him!” and, “… NO ONE except those who were given a Near death experience, taken to heaven like St. Paul, or who were allowed to see bits of heaven and returned.” Well, which is it? Either no one on earth has seen heaven or they have. You can’t have it both ways. I, for one, don’t presume to know the mind of God.

    • samton909

      Of course animals do not go to heaven. There is no need for them. While people might derive some comfort from animals on earth, there will be no need for you to exploit them to derive comfort from them in heaven. In fact, most animals act exactly like animals. They hunt, they tear apart their living prey with no concern for it, they eat, they sleep, they pretty much could not care less about other beings. I am constantly appalled at “animal lovers” who dress their dogs in cutesy clothes that can only annoy the dog or cat, who treat them like children because they themselves do not have children and so need a child substitute that they project their desires onto a dog or cat;.

      If you believe that animals are more loving and loyal than humans, it is because you have trapped them in your home, will not let them go, and they realize they are totally dependent on their human overlord. No, animals are not equal to human beings. My Goodness.

    • Thunder Paws

      Nothing is impossible for God and eye has not seen nor ear heard what God has in store for those who love Him. It has never been the Catholic position that the Bible tells us everything about what we will encounter in eternal life. Again, it is humanity’s sin that brought about the corruption of creation which, in the beginning, God pronounced very good. In heaven it will be again. Pope Francis understands this.

    • Did anyone say animals are equal to humans??? Samton, do you dispose animals or something?

    • Donna Smith

      Samton, read Merle’s Door and get back to me about how our animal friends are “trapped.” And check out the Lutheran comfort dog ministry for the healing they do for others. Animals differ like humans do. I had one dog that would bolt out the door and explore the neighborhood following his nose given the first chance (he loved his freedom. The one I have now comes home if he gets out or slips his leash. And I’m not saying we aren’t the crown of creation. But our dominion is to care for them, not exploit them. Heaven will recognized the God-given dignity of each creature and there will be no exploitation. Anyway, that’s my reading of things. Others may differ.

    • DJR

      Agreed.

      Some days I have a hard time getting the dogs to go outside. “Trapped”? Lol.

      Some dogs are like children. They let you think you’re in charge.

    • Donna Smith

      lol DJR–so true!

    • Eddie

      Agreed Adam. I have no doubt. Scripture speaks quite clearly on it. Jesus comes forth riding a white horse as do the angels of the apocalypse. Animals go to heaven too. God bless you.

    • jimtermini1

      We will receive special gifts in heaven. If we want our pets with us we will be granted them.