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Pope Francis stirs debate by saying that animals go to heaven

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Pope Francis stirs debate by saying that animals go to heaven
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Pope Francis recently sparked controversy when he told a boy that paradise is open to all of God's creatures after he comforted him over the recent death of his dog. The 77-year leader of the Roman Catholic Church said that one day they will see their animals again in the eternity of Christ, Fox News reported.

The statement has stirred up debate between vegan groups and their counterparts in the meat industry with groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) saying the pope's statement aligned with the view of heaven as a peaceful place and could convince more Catholics to avoid eating meat.

Sarah Withrow King, director of Christian outreach and engagement at PETA, said that it was a vegan world, life over death and peace between species and she was not a Catholic historian, but PETA's motto was that animals were not theirs as they belonged to Gods and Christians agreed on this point. Some Catholic scholars, however, have warned that the Pope's comment was made casually and should not be taken as official Church doctrine.

Pope Francis' statement also worried many in the multi-billion dollar meat industry, for whom the idea of Catholics not buying meat especially those holiday hams and turkeys in the lead up to Christmas equals a potentially large loss of revenue. 

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