13 December 2014

What Pope Francis actually said about animals

By now you've surely seen the many media stories boldly claiming that Pope Francis "recently" said something to the effect that all animals - dogs especially - go to heaven. Many people have completely accepted this story as fact, without ever noticing that the date of the Pope's alleged remarks is never given and a full quote from him is never given, nor is anyone else ever quoted. They accept this story from the same media outlets that routinely report dishonestly on the Church.

My suspicions were first raised when I realized that this story took almost a week before it began to circulate. If it were based on reality, it would have spread like wildfire.

If you search for an official transcript of the Pope's words, you will not find one. In point of fact: The whole event doesn't seem to have actually happened.

Some reports even went so far as to claim the Pope was attempting to console a boy whose dog had died. The New York Times admits that claim - and the summation of the Pope's words - is untrue. This should raise serious questions for all intelligent readers.

This morning I was going to sit down to write a post on what appears to be another false news story about a Pope when I read Christopher S. Morrissey's answer to the question, "Did Pope Francis realy say all dogs go to heaven?" He beat me to it and answered well:
Look again at what the media made of that long paragraph I just quoted from his general audience. They apparently invented a new Bible verse and attributed it to Paul. Then they apparently took an interpretive paraphrase of Francis’ words and attributed it directly to him.
Be sure to read his full response. The Pope's address of November 28th, to which the media weakly attempt to link their stories, is available here.

Please, do not let the media do your thinking for you. Question their reports. Look for their sources. Double check their sources. If you cannot find their sources, the story is likely make believe.

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