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Good news, animal lovers. According to Pope Francis, our four-legged friends are heaven-bound. At a recent appearance in St. Peter's Basilica, the pope met a young boy who was visibly upset over the recent death of his dog. Pope Francis assured him, “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” Though some theologians may argue that the comment is left to some interpretation, The New York Times reached out to The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit preist and an editor at a prominent Catholic magazine, who said, “He said paradise is open to all creatures. That sounds pretty clear to me” ...

UPDATE: The New York Times has issued a correction to their story, and as Slate points out, the pope’s comments appear to have been translated poorly in the media. Also, the story about comforting a young child who had just lost his dog, was actually about a different pope altogether. From NYT:

According to Vatican Radio, Francis said: “The Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us,” which was interpreted to mean he believes animals go to heaven. Francis is not known to have said: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.'’

The eternal fate of all dogs still remains up for debate. Discuss

7 Prominent Christian Thinkers Who Wrestled With Doubt

Mother Teresa, Martin Luther, Pope Francis and more Christian leaders who struggled with doubt. Read More

According to the Twitter account of LifeChurch.tv pastor Craig Groeschel, YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald recently got to meet Pope Francis and took the opportunity to give him an iPhone pre-loaded with the popular Bible app. The free Bible-study app has been downloaded nearly 160 million times. If his tweets start being sent via iPhone, we’ll know he’s using it ... Discuss

Pope Francis’ chief alms-giver has announced new plans to install free showers in the public restrooms in Vatican City as a service to the homeless. Monsignor Konrad Krajewski explained that the new facilities in St. Peter’s Square were inspired by an encounter with a homeless man. The homeless gentleman declined Krajewski’s invitation to a fancy dinner on his 50th birthday because he said that he smelled bad, and there was no place for homeless individuals like him to wash. According to some reports, the facility will also provide members of the homeless community with fresh towels and clean undergarments ... Discuss

Pope Francis’ Other Pro-Life Campaign

The Pope's idea of being pro-life includes a lot more than just protecting the unborn. Read More

The winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize won’t be announced until tomorrow, but odds makers (yes, you can actually place a bet on who will be given the award) have already picked their winner: Pope Francis. The Irish online gambling site Paddy Power has given the Catholic church leader 9-4 odds of taking home the prize—the best bet of all of the speculative nominees. Other favorites from bookies on the site include women’s education advocate Malala Yousafzai, whistleblower Edward Snowden and Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta ... Discuss