Are there dogs in heaven? Let's hope not.

A misreported remark by Pope Francis has sparked an intriguing theological debate

All dogs do not go to heaven.
(Image credit: (Illustration by Lauren Hansen | Images courtesy iStock))

Rolling Stone's catastrophic journalistic malfeasance in the UVA rape story is unquestionably the Big Media Scandal of the past two months. But surely a little attention must also be paid to The New York Times, which last week pronounced on the front page that Pope Francis told a boy that he would see his dog in heaven — when, in fact, the pope said no such thing.

Far more interesting to me than the question of how such a mistake could have been made by America's newspaper of record was the giddy reaction to the story in the days before it was revealed to be false. The guy who tweeted, "Ok. He wins. I'm Catholic again," may have gone further than most, but lots and lots of people expressed unconfined joy at the thought of dogs accompanying their human masters to heaven. And if dogs, why not cats? Or hamsters? Or goldfish? Suddenly the afterlife began to look an awful lot like...life! People swooned at the idea.

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