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Did The Pope Say That Dogs Go to Heaven? Declaration & Biblical Beliefs

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever dog leaning to owner's leg

Did The Pope Say That Dogs Go to Heaven? Declaration & Biblical Beliefs

We all know the movie All Dogs Go to Heaven. The more we have dogs and experience them, we likely agree that the only place for a dog is behind the pearly gates. However, there are many different beliefs when it comes to religion, which is why many people look to religious figures for confirmation and explanation

The Pope is one of the most revered holy figures in the entire world. Many people listen to his guidance on matters of the heart. When it comes to dogs going to Heaven, what exactly did the Pope say about this? In this article, we aim to discuss what the Pope proclaims happens to dogs after death, but ultimately it’s up to your own personal belief.

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The Direct Quote, Later Revoked

In 2014, Pope Francis stated, “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” This gave newfound hope to many people. For so long, some religions have held the belief that animals have no soul.

So, when the Pope finally gave the go-ahead to believe that animals have souls, many people got extremely excited. However, their hopes were shot down after an uproar happened. Many folks demanded an explanation, as it goes against traditional teachings.

It seems that once this idea created a frenzy, religious officials came out to clear things up. A Vatican spokesman said that while comments are misleading, this was not his intended message.

So, the Pope didn’t mention dogs specifically, and this quote has been interpreted in many different ways. For some people, the jury is still out on whether or not dogs have souls and accompany us into Heaven.

Domestication Wasn’t the Same in Biblical Days

One thing that it’s easy for us to forget is that the Bible was written at a very different time. People were concerned about much more specific matters of the heart, rather than where dogs go when they die.

So, a lot of details aren’t there because they simply weren’t the kinds of questions raised at the time. The domestication of dogs as we know it today didn’t happen until very recent years. The relationship that we have with our pets is definitely not something that we share with our ancestors, although it has been a slow progression over time.

woman walking her beagle at the park
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Biblical Beliefs About Animals

A big argument about life after death for pets comes from several different verses in the Bible.

Some of the verses that mention that animals might go to Heaven include:
  • Ecclesiastes 3:19-20
  • Psalms 36:6
  • Job 12:10
  • Isaiah 16:25
  • Matthew 10:29

But one of the more notable verses is Genesis 9:13-16, which states: “I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth, and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on earth.”

If you read this verse (and the others) for what they are, it certainly sounds like all living creatures on earth will return to God.

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Personal Belief Counts

The church is definitely influential. They make lots of decisions based on the overall literacy of the Bible and how we interpret it. But maybe you’ve had something personal happen to you that doesn’t quite match up with what you’ve been taught.

For example, you might have lost your beloved dog to an illness, and you may grieve them day in and day out. Suddenly, one night you have a dream about your pet, and it just seems too real and too specific to be a coincidence.

Something in your heart tells you that wasn’t nothing. It tells you that maybe there really is an afterlife for our furry friends, and just perhaps, they can come to visit you once they’re gone.

Little girl hugging retriever in the field
Image Credit: In Green, Shutterstock

Near-Death Experiences Featuring Dogs

There have been numerous near-death experiences in which people have been greeted by their four-legged canine counterparts. Many people also report seeing their dogs during their experiences. So, what exactly can the afterlife tell us?

Science can’t be sure, but we can certainly infer a few things. Many people have come forward, expressing that they have seen their pet in the afterlife, and couldn’t be convinced otherwise. So, regardless of any religious belief, your pup might be standing there waiting to greet you when you take your last breath.

Does this mean that they go to Heaven? Does this mean they just lead us into the afterlife until they know we are where we’re supposed to be? Maybe there’s an entirely separate place that dogs go to be rewarded for all the wonderful things they’ve done.

Other Spiritual Beliefs of Dogs Throughout History

Dogs have been alongside humans for many years. It’s no wonder that so many spiritual beliefs surround our canine friends.

For example, in Mexican history, the Xolo is a hairless dog thought to protect folks in the afterlife. These dogs would be killed alongside their owners so that they could protect them in the world beyond. While it might seem like a morbid concept now, even people then did not want to leave this world without their pets.

In ancient Egypt, we know that they absolutely adored their cats! What might be a little less known is that they also felt this way about dogs. Dogs were revered and associated with Anubis, who was the God of mummification and the afterlife.

Xoloitzcuintle standing on a natural landscape
Image Credit: art nick, Shutterstock

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So, Do Dogs Go to Heaven?

Realistically, when it comes down to the fine details, it’s hard for us to know for sure. That is why things are so heavily based on belief, faith, and personal experience. If you have a reason to believe that your dog can experience the afterlife just like you, it’s really not that harmful either way, is it?

To truly answer whether or not a dog would go to Heaven, you’d have to consider many different factors that will change from person to person. One person might hold the belief to the grave that their dogs will accompany them once they reach the pearly gates.

Others think that animals don’t have a soul and won’t join us in the afterlife. So it doesn’t matter how much they love their animals; they keep a very good sight of their own reality.

Since it isn’t a cut-and-dry answer, you have to consider your circumstances and ask yourself if you think dogs deserve to go to Heaven. If your answer is yes, that should be enough.

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Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the Pope says about dogs going to Heaven. What matters is that you are strong in your faith and beliefs. Even if we never get to see our pets again in the afterlife, one thing is for sure. They have changed us beyond measure. Many would consider dogs a blessing, and here, we have to agree!

Featured Image Credit: trofalenaRV, Shutterstock

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