Faith/Spirituality Forum: ANIMALS
ANIMALS QUESTION from Bob on December 3, 2002 Br., I am familiar with the seven types of ghosts. I have also read stories where pets/animals can be seen by people/other animalsd after they die. I know animals may go to heaven but we are not sure since they don't have an immortal soul, so can you please explain these occurances in light of Catholic theology? Are they demonic deceptions? Could they really be the animals? Do other animals/people sense or see them as product of their imagination?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on December 22, 2002 Dear Bob:
God in His infinite love and mercy I suppose could allow an apparition of a pet to a grieving pet-owner as a form of comfort.
But apart from the unlikely event, spirit dogs/cats/etc. are most likely either psychiatric manifestations or demonic manifestations.
As you mentioned, animals do not have an immortal soul made in the image of God as does Man. Further there is no need for pets in heaven because we would have no personal need for them. Pets fill a place in our hearts for companionship. They fill a hole. In heaven we are complete with no need for pets to fill a hole for companionship.
This is not to say that heaven will have no animals. Perhaps it will. Animals are a beautiful creation of God and Heaven is certainly a place that is the creation of God in all perfection and beauty.
We cannot know for sure, of course, but it is unlikely individual pets go to heaven for the reasons stated above.
In my essay on the Seven Kinds of Ghosts, the Sixth Kind is actually a form of instant reply, like the residue of electro-magnetetic energy of a being gets caught in a time/space loop. These types of Ghosts are not conscious, they are not beings. They are like a video tape playing in a loop.
Since animals do that an electro-magnetic force in the vegetative soul, as we all do, that animates the body, it may be possible for the residue of the electro-magnetic energy of the animal's body to also get caught in some sort of time/space loop.
If this is the case, one might see a ghostly dog or cat, but this ghost would not interact in any way. It would be like seeing a hologram tape playing over and over again.
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