Last Tuesday night, at the Spe Salvi Colloquium hosted by the John Paul II Institute, Fr Anthony Robbie opined that it was legitimate to tell our children that their departed pets would be in heaven. I felt a little uneasy with that.
Any way, last night Mia’s pet Guinea Pig, Pipsqueak, died. It was just a bit too cold for them outside, I reckon.
There were tears. We put his body in a little box with some straw and had a little funeral liturgy. The order of service was: Reading from Psalm 104 (“Thou openest thy hand… Thou takest back their spirit and they die…), singing “All things bright and beautiful”, and Mia reading a little prayer from one of her children’s books. Then the burial, in suitably rainy grey weather, in the back yard. No “In Paridisum”. No prayers that Pipsqueak would be happy in heaven. Just trust in the goodness of the Creator.
Back to the Spe Salvi Conference, Josh was asking about my presentation on Ratzinger’s theology of Purgatory. Because of the bad back, I didn’t get to complete and polish and edit it, but you can get all the data by downloading the Powerpoint file here.
It’s worth a thought, but if you want to allow that animals ARE granted entry into heaven, are they “like the blessed”, ie. without sin? or is there a “purgatory” for animals also? Or a Hell for that matter? For really bad dogs…
Any way, we went straight out after the funeral and bought a new Guinea Pig. The new one is called “Stripe” (because he has one).