The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973


Pope concedes souls to animals

To the joy of animal-loving Catholics worldwide, Pope John Paul ll spoke out recently on the place of animals in God's creation. Having referred to Genesis C.ll in which the creation of animals is distinct from the creation of man, he pointed out that in other texts it is stated that "animals have the breath of life and were given it by God. In this respect man, created by the hand of God, is identical with all other living creatures".

Many Catholics see this as affirmation that animals posses souls. Professor of Theology at Urbino University, Carlo Molari, says the statement "demonstrates the Church's desire and deep concern to clarify the present confused thinking and attitudes towards the animal kingdom. There should be no need, but the Pontiff, in reiterating that animals came into being because of the direct action of the "breath" of God, wanted to say that also these creatures as well as man are possessed of the divine spark of life and that living quality that is the soul. And are therefore not inferior beings or only of a purely material reality."

(Quotes from Gentre magazine and Man/Nature/Animals, January 1990)

From the Sep/Oct '90 edition of Agscene - journal of Compassion In World Farming. Reproduced with Thanks.

See: General Audience: 10 January 1990

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