Saturday, December 13, 2014

All dogs go to heaven...

...according to the New York Times
and Crux News!

'Saint' Charlie B. Barkin

NY Times 17 December 2014

Francis' theology of creatures?

Not so fast!  The New York Times' motto should be changed to "all the propaganda that's not fit to be print" and Crux News should rename themselves Crooked News.  In an article, Dogs in Heaven? Pope Francis Leaves Pearly Gates Open, published on 11 December 2014 there were several glaring errors made.

"Trying to console a distraught little boy whose dog had died, Francis told him in a recent public appearance on St. Peter’s Square that “paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” While it is unclear whether the pope’s remarks helped soothe the child, they were welcomed by groups like the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who saw them as a repudiation of conservative Catholic theology that says animals cannot go to heaven because they have no souls."

We at Call Me Jorge... cannot fathom how Rick Gladstone made these 'errors'.  Can he not read Italian?  Are there not fact checkers at the New York Times?  Or was he projecting his progressive desires onto Francis?  After the NY Times published his story many media outlets echoed it around the world.  Included in these was the Crux News outlet which published an edited version of Gladstone's story, Dogs — and all animals — go to heaven, pope says, which shares the quote below with the NY Times' article.

"Citing biblical passages that assert that animals not only go to heaven, but get along with one another when they get there, Francis was quoted by the Italian news media as saying: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”

Theologians cautioned that Francis had spoken casually, not made a doctrinal statement."

Crux News has many on staff who are fluent in Italian and keep up with the minutiae of Francis.  What a joke these people are!

James Martin the editor of America Magazine wrote an entire article, Is Heaven Open to Animals?, which justifies the alleged comments attributed to Francis.

"First of all, it’s important to note that this was an apparently off-the-cuff remark from the Pope to a was essentially a pastoral response to a child, and needs to be understood as such. It was also notable that, as far as I can tell, the Vatican did not release the Pope’s official remarks."
..."Pope Francis’s comments, though “pastoral” and though off-the-cuff, offer an important insight into the Pope Francis’s mind and also seems to reflect a change in what many Catholics believe—myself included."

..."To my mind, however, what Pope Francis said is clear. He's not trying to obfuscate and he does not say anything to children that he does not believe: The Pope believes, in his own heart, that paradise is open to all creatures."

Apparently if you can fog a mirror, the Novus Ordo church wants you as an editor.

Even a wannabe bishop, John Zuhl$dorf, wrote a blog entry on it, ASK FATHER: Will I have my pets again in heaven?  

This has probably been stirred up by something Pope Francis said recently in the press:
“One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”
First and foremost, this was not – good grief… do I have to write this? – a definitive statement.

Thankfully Zuhl$dorf, even though he took the Francis quote at face value, rejected the idea that  animals may go to heaven in his blog entry because as he correctly points out,

"Animals don’t have immortal souls...They don’t need a Savior."

The original article, «Il Paradiso è aperto a tutte le creature»: così Papa Francesco sugli animali..., published by Corriere della Sera states,

"Paradise is open to all creatures": thus Pope Francis on animals. "The apostle Paul states this explicitly when he says that" the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God '"

and clearly says a little later,

Francis is preparing an encyclical 'greening' the protection of Creation. Certainly the issue is recurring and sometimes controversial, in the Church. It is said that Paul VI had comforted a child in tears for the death of his dog and said: "One day we will review our animals in the eternity of Christ." 

This article was written on 27 November 2014.  The English language articles were published starting on 11 December 2014.  That's two weeks worth of time to get the story correct.  As if that isn't enough, the Paul VI quote was written of in 2008 at La Stampa and Corriere della Sera as well as in a 2010 book, La Leggende del Ponte Arcobaleno (Legends of the Rainbow Bridge).  We at Call Me Jorge... found all this in several minutes by using an internet search engine, surely there must be more out there.

What's going on here?

We have no idea.  One can read Francis' prepared remarks for his general audience of 26 October 2014 or watch Rome Reports' piece on his audience below.  Do you dear reader see where any of this 'confusion' came from?

It says something that a reporter writes a story which isn't sourced and has several glaring mistakes in it.  These mistakes repudiate Catholic theology and Novus Ordo prelates take it at face value that Francis actually said these things.  None of these prelates is surprised but they take or argue different sides of the statement.  In our opinion, that's the story!

The media shifts the blame to Corriere della Sera, when it is clearly their own fault.

Since we had written this entry (but not published it on Call Me Jorge...), the NY Times came out with this retraction:

Correction: December 12, 2014

An earlier version of this article misstated the circumstances of Pope Francis’ remarks. He made them in a general audience at the Vatican, not in consoling a distraught boy whose dog had died. The article also misstated what Francis is known to have said. According to Vatican Radio, Francis said: “The Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us,” which was interpreted to mean he believes animals go to heaven. Francis is not known to have said: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.'’ (Those remarks were once made by Pope Paul VI to a distraught child, and were cited in a Corriere della Sera article that concluded Francis believes animals go to heaven.) An earlier version also referred incompletely to the largest animal protection group in the United States. It is the Humane Society of the United States, not just the Humane Society.

And today 13 December 2014, Crux News republished ,  Pope Francis says all dogs go to heaven? Not so fast by David Gibson of Religion News Service.

When Pope Francis recently sought to comfort a distraught boy whose dog had died, the pontiff took the sort of pastoral approach he is famous for — telling the youngster not to worry, that he would one day see his pet in heaven.
“Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures,” Francis said reassuringly.
It was a sparkling moment on a rainy November day, and the setting in St. Peter’s Square only burnished Francis’ reputation as a kindly “people’s pope.” The story naturally lit up social media, became instant promotional material for vegetarians and animal rights groups, and on Friday even made it to the front page of The New York Times.
There’s only one problem: apparently none of it ever happened.
Yes, a version of that quotation was uttered by a pope, but it was said decades ago by Paul VI, who died in 1978. There is no evidence that Francis repeated the words during his public audience on Nov. 26, as has been widely reported, nor was there was a boy mourning his dead dog.
So how could such a fable so quickly become taken as fact?
Part of the answer may be the topic of the pope’s talk to the crowd that day, which centered on the End Times and the transformation of all creation into a “new heaven” and a “new earth.” Citing St. Paul in the New Testament, Francis said that is not “the annihilation of the cosmos and of everything around us, but the bringing of all things into the fullness of being.”
The trail of digital bread crumbs then appears to lead to an Italian news report that extended Francis’ discussion of a renewed creation to the question of whether animals too will go to heaven.
“One day we will see our pets in the eternity of Christ,” the report quoted Paul VI as telling a disconsolate boy years ago.
The story was titled, somewhat misleadingly: “Paradise for animals? The Pope doesn’t rule it out.” It wasn’t clear which pope the writer meant, however.
The next day, Nov. 27, a story in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera by veteran Vaticanista Gian Guido Vecchi pushed the headline further: “The Pope and pets: “Paradise is open to all creatures.”

Vecchi faithfully recounted the pope’s talk about a new creation, and also cited Paul VI’s remark.

But the headline put those words in Francis’ mouth, and that became the story.
The Italian version of the Huffington Post picked it up next and ran an article quoting Francis as saying “We will go to heaven with the animals” and contending that the pope was quoting St. Paul – not Pope Paul – as making that statement to console a boy who lost his dog. (That story, by the way, is nowhere in the Bible.)
The urban legend became unstoppable a week later when it was translated into English and picked up by the British press,which cited St. Paul as saying that “One day we will see our animals again in (the) eternity of Christ,” while it has Francis adding the phrase: “Paradise is open to all God’s creatures.”
Fueling the meme was the fact that Francis was photographed accepting a gift of two donkeys from a company promoting the use of donkey milk for infants allergic to cow’s milk – and Francis said his own mother gave him donkey’s milk as a baby.
Social media and other media outlets then picked up the story, further conflating the statements and the chronology. It became a hot mess of a story that was also sparking another theological debate by a pope who was known for prompting controversy.
When The New York Times went with the story, along with input from ethicists and theologians, it became gospel truth.
Television programs discussed the pope’s theological breakthrough, news outlets created photo galleries of popes with cute animals, and others used it as a jumping off point to discuss what other religions think about animals and the afterlife. At America magazine, the Rev. James Martin wrote an essay discussing the theological implications of Francis’ statements and what level of authority they may have. It was all very interesting and illuminating, but based on a misunderstanding.
A number of factors probably contributed to this journalistic train wreck:
  • The story had so much going for it: Francis took his papal name from St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of environmentalism who famously greeted animals as brothers and sisters.
  • Pope Francis is also preparing a major teaching document on the environment, and almost since the day he was elected in 2013 he has stressed the Christian duty to care for creation.
  • Francis also blessed a blind man’s guide dog shortly after he was elected, an affecting image that was often used in connection with these latest reports of his concern for animals.
  • Moreover, the media and the public are so primed for Francis to say novel things and disregard staid customs that the story was too good to check out; it fit with the pattern.
In most accounts, Francis’ comments were also set against statements by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who insisted that animals did not have souls. That apparent contrast fit a common narrative pitting the more conservative Benedict against the ostensibly liberal Francis.

That may be true in some areas, but probably not when it comes to animals.
Adding insult to injury, the Times article cited St. John Paul II as saying in 1990 that animals have souls and are “as near to God as men are.” But that, too, was a misquote, as media critic Dawn Eden explained at the website GetReligion.
On the other hand, there should have been warnings signs: Francis has frowned at the modern tendency to favor pets over people, and he has criticized the vast amounts of money spent by wealthy societies on animals even as children go hungry.
In addition, the pope’s huge popularity has led to at least one other instance of myth-making: news reports last year said that Francis was sneaking out of the Vatican at night to feed the homeless around Rome.
The pope personally debunked that rumor in an interview last March, saying the idea “has never crossed my mind” and that “depicting the pope to be a sort of superman, a type of star, seems offensive to me.”
Maybe he’ll have to give another interview to deflate this latest story, and to offer his real thoughts on pets and paradise.


  1. Maybe some day soon Francis will say what his humble religion, Judaism, teaches, that Goyim and animals have the same kind of animal soul (nefesh) and that neither Goyim or animals have a divine soul (neshama) which all 'Jews,' even mass murderering 'Jews', have. And also, that the matriarch of dark skinned people is a dog.

  2. 'Dogie Heaven' theology has been tossed around quite a bit for about the last 20 years or so. I remember a cute pen and ink cartoon of a dog standing on a cloud and gazing up at St. Peter at the Pearly gate as he inquires,
    "Does this mean I get my testicles back ?"