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June 7th, 2010, 06:06 PM
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GinaB GinaB is offline
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Ok, I found this on a Catholic website and it's interesting

Quote:
“Why do Catholics think that animals do not have souls? Does the Bible talk about this or is this just our assumption?”

First, the Catholic Church does not teach that animals do not have souls. With the help of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Church understands soul to mean “life”. So, all things that have life – animals, plants, humans, etc. – have souls. Do all living things have the same type of soul? No. In response to the question of whether animals go to Heaven, Dr. Richard Geraghty, PhD, explains that the differences between the souls of humans and animals involve intellect, free will, and immortality (from ewtn.com):

“…all living things have a soul. Here soul is defined as what makes an organic body live. Now when any living thing dies, its soul is separated from its body. In the case of plants and animals the soul goes out of existence. But in the case of man, the soul remains in existence because it is a spiritual or immaterial thing. Consequently, it differs from the souls of animals in two important respects. First, it is the seat of intelligence or reason. For this reason a man is held responsible for his actions in a way that animals are not.

Secondly, the soul is immortal. A thing which has no physical parts cannot fall apart or be poisoned or be crushed or be put out of existence. For this reason the souls of the saved will always be aware of themselves as enjoying the vision of God for all eternity. This enjoyment will be the result of having chosen to act on earth in such a way that one did the will of God rather than one's own will. And the souls of the ****** will be aware of themselves as never attaining this vision of God because they have shown by their lives on earth that they did not wish this vision but instead preferred their own will.

In the light of this essential difference between human beings and animals, it would seem that we would not see the souls of our pets in heaven for the simple reason that they do not have immortal souls and are not responsible for their actions. They do not have the intelligence which allows them to choose either God's will or their own will. There is, then, an incomparable distance, say, between the soul of the sorriest human being who ever lived and the most noble brute animal that ever walked the earth.
So I guess they do have souls, just not human souls?

GW Catholic Q & A: Do animals have souls?
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