Catholics/Do Pets Go To Heaven?

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Question
Dear Brother,

My dog is "extremely old" for his large breed according to our vet, and has congestive heart failure and hip pain, which we are treating to the best of our abilities with medicine. He seems comfortable although he is quite deaf and sleeps more than he did when he was young, but he still finds great enjoyment in things.

My thoughts now turn to the time when he will leave us, and I can't imagine never seeing my beloved border collie again.  If I go to heaven, will I meet my dog?  What do Catholics believe?  He is my best friend and seems to think an awful lot like a person would sometimes although I know he really doesn't think that way 95% of the time; in other words, I know he's not a person, but he's a wonderful creature God made.

Thank you for your time.  I am sure that you have answered this question before.

Jennifer

Answer
Peace

dear Jennifer,



What we do know:

Animals and plants have material souls. People have spiritual souls. People alone have intellect and will (the principles of the soul) and are made for union with God in Heaven. Animals are not. Animal souls do not persist after bodily death.

What we do not know:
We do not know what the new Heaven and new Earth will be like. We do not know if the mention of animals is literal or figurative. We do not know if these animals will be like animals we know or some other type of creature entirely. We do not know if God will "reconsistute" animals we have known in our lives.

I personally do not believe this is what is meant by the new Heaven and new Earth. Animals are not people. Yes, we love them and get attached to them, but we should not give animals the love due only to people and to God.



George

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George A. Card,sfo, M.I

Expertise

I am willing to attempt to answer any question. If I donít know the answer, I will look-up or pass the question on to friends for feed back. Beside Catholicism (especially the social/moral and the Eastern rites), I am well read on Mormonism and so-called Modern Christian Fundamentalism. Also I study Franciscan History as means of growing in my lay Franciscan calling to holiness in Christ.

Experience

25+ years as the Justice and Peace Liaison for my (local)Secular Franciscan Fraternity,22+ years public speaking on the Faith,and/or teaching CCD and Youth Retreats,a former Officer for K of C and my SFO Fraternity,still hold appointed offices in local osf fraternity

Organizations
Catholic Church, Rome Rite
Secular Fraciscan Order
Knights of Columbus
The Men's Study (A local Catholic study group I co founded)
Others
Militia Immaculata(Knights of the Immaculate

Publications
Local News Letters:Mostly my Poetry


Education/Credentials
2 years of Minor Seminary
Bible and Adult Faith Studies and Seminars

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