Is Pope Francis out of his mind??

"One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God's creatures."
-Pope Francis (full article below)

I've been noticing how some of my fellow Copts have been quoting Pope Francis and to be honest I never felt comfortable with that. His comment on gay people (saying who are we to judge) was alright ("Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Matthew 7:3 NIV). Then his comment on atheists was a bit more controversial; he said if someone doesn't believe in God but still does good deeds, they'll go to heaven. Then he makes this comment about animals going to heaven. Is it me or has this guy gone to far? Don't get my wrong I have a dog myself which I love dearly but I understand it has no soul or place in heaven. But seriously, what's up with this guy? Heretic much?


  • Maybe he's hinting at all of Creation being transfigured and restored because of the human being living out the priestly call? Like maybe the consequence of deification is that even nature is restored and given life.

    Saint Isaiah says something curious that could hint at the same:
    "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."

    Bishop Ireneos writes:
    "The whole of the universe worships and offers gifts to its Creator. In the very shape of the churches and the placing of the icons, mosaics or frescoes within them, we find a microcosm of the universe, which clarifies the role both of humanity and of the rest of creation in relation to God. For it is an expression not just of what is on earth today, but of what exists in heaven and what is to come- the eschatological promise and redemptive transformation of all creation through the salvation wrought by Jesus Christ (cf. Rom. 8).

    For instance, the prayers and psalms tell us of the sanctification of all creation. Every day in our Vespers, we sing Psalm 103 which says, "Bless the Lord all his works. In all places of His dominion, bless the Lord, O my soul". It is captured in our blessing for all manner of elements of creation. The blessing of the waters shows us the sanctifying and redemptive power given to an element of creation through the invocation of the Holy Spirit by the Church."

    Robert Flanagan writes:

    "We have a sign which marks the beginning of the restoration of unity in the entire fallen creation. This is the sojourn of Christ in the desert: "He was with the wild beasts, and the angels served Him" (Mk 1:13). The heavenly and earthly creatures destined to become the new creation in the God-Man Jesus Christ are assembled around Him."

    It reminds me of the story of St Barsoum.

    But of course all this is just speculation and theologoumena. May this Lenten season allow us to dispel all divisions.
  • In one sense he is right, in another sense he is assuming things he cannot know. We don't know whether animals as they are will be resurrected on the last day into the New Creation of the Kingdom. What we do know however is that the whole creation as we know it will be resurrected as the "new heaven and earth" as John writes in his Revelation. 

    The term heaven and earth, scripturally refers to all creation as is found in Genesis 1:1. So when John says that God will raise up a new heaven and earth in Revelation he is referring to God burying the entire creation in His salvific work and raising it up as a New Creation. Paul affirms this when he says:

    "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:18-23)

    Notice how he uses the word "birth pangs" to indicate it becoming reborn, and how it is eagerly waiting to be delivered from the bondage of corruption which Adam laid on the whole creation through sin and death.
  • @Girgisantony

    While that particular comment has some limited justification from the patristic tradition, I must say that I agree that Copts should not be quoting Francis, he seems to be leading the Catholic Church down a path of liberalism. It seems the only reason they quote him is his presence in the popular media - what a stupid reason! I liked Benedict a lot better.
  • I couldn't have said it better myself @qawe 
  • I know this is an internet forum, so rushing to judgment is pretty much a prerequisite, but if anyone would have clicked on the second link and actually read the article, it says that Pope Francis didn't say that sentence at all. The New York Times actually printed a correction to their article after they found out that they received bad information and printed it before making sure it was true. It goes further to state that news outlets such as the New York Times should do a better job fact-checking. They heard something that they felt fit the "profile" of Pope Francis and assumed it was true. The irony is, none of us know Pope Francis personally, we just piecemeal statements of his and assume we understand his stance on issues. Up to this moment, he has not issued any actual doctrinal changes in his church. I agree that some of his statements have concerned me, but again, that's all they were, statements.
  • edited March 2015
    Well, I know as a fact that there are many traditional catholics who are upset with him. He's agitated and distance even further the anti-Vatican 2 groups like those of Monsigneur Lefebvre. 

    Has anyone noticed this lately: 

    Whenever a Catholic pope begins to lose his appeal, he talks of retirement. When Pope Benedict found himself unpopular with Muslims, and gays and the groups wanting justice for Pedo Priests - he retired. 

    Now Pope Francis is talking of retirement early; and that's after he's suggested that its OK to hit someone for insulting his mother. 

    Having said that, I am pretty sure also that for anyone to get into hell, he'll not just have to do evil things, but to insist on it, daily. 

    The NDE stories I've seen so far is that even atheists who are good, end up being tormented. This is a bit worrying. I wish, with all my heart that even atheists could be saved. I really do. But the NDE's i've seen are so dire that it seems that the only thing that will save them from torment is the Name of the Lord.

    As for animals getting into heaven - well, every time we kill a chicken, a duck, or a cow, are we sending their souls to heaven?? Seriously? And then is a rat not equal to a dog ? Did God not create them all? 
    Do we really want rats in heaven? Are bacteria not also living creatures and viruses? and amoebas? and flys and bees, and insects?? Do they not also have souls?? 

    It seems that with Pope Francis's heaven; there is no difference between heaven and downtown New Jersey. It doesn't make any sense. In fact, in Islam, there's still sex in heaven. Maybe Pope Francis wants to upsell the Christian "heaven" and suggest the same, or find a better marketing tool to attract young people to come to the church also.

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