During a recent public appearance, Francis comforted a boy whose dog had died, noting, “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”
If the viewpoint of Pope Francis is accepted I am sure that the next round of questions to be debated by ecclesiastical scholars will be “If animals go to heaven, can they also go to hell?”
In other words will the nasty dog who bit my young grandson suffer hellfire in perdition? Or, do all dogs have an automatic ticket to heaven since they lack the intellect to make rational moral decisions? And where does God draw the line?
Is there a hierarchy of animal life forms that separates those eligible for entry into paradise from those who are not sufficiently evolved to benefit from the comforts a heavenly existence? What about insects, bacteria, and viruses?