From the Introduction to God's Animals by Dom Ambrose Agius, O.S.B., M.A. (Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, 1970)
"This is a book which is long overdue. For many years a number of
people have been asking their religious leaders for answers to questions
concerning animals and it has been their frequent experience that they
receive only unsatisfactory answers. So unsatisfactory in fact that they
have been known to leave the Church altogether, unable to reconcile the
replies given with their conception of the mercy and providence of God.
Or, if they have persevered, it is with a troubled heart, as if 'a black
cloud had settled over it'. And that lasting for years.
And even when, with faith and humility, they resolve to wait for
enlightenment in God's good time, they were completely at a loss when,
as often happened, their friends asked them: "What does your Church have
to say about cruelty to animals?'
As we know, and as everyone should know, the Church has the answer to
all the essential questions about animals, although, as Cardinal Newman
and others have said: 'the animal world is more of a mystery than the
world of angels.' (Ark 71, p.19; Abbe Fremont. L'E. p.232).But it was no
answer at all for sincere people to be told that animals have no souls
and so one should not bother one's head about them, or that there are
enough human beings for the Church to worry about or that God gave over
animals to human beings, who can therefore do what they like with their
These thoughtless, evasive and often impatient answers, cause
unnecessary pain and frustration, and sometimes calamity. For they are
simply untrue or only so partially true that they convey a completely
false impression. And the tragedy is that the Church, through the voice
of some of her most illustrious as well as authoritative members, has
said enough to comfort the hearts of all animal lovers. And she has
behind her, in this, both Scripture and the record of her canonised
Saints. As, we hope, this book will show."
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