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*Image: Saint Francis Preaching to the Animals by Jan Siberechts, 1666 [Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium]

By Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap., The Catholic Thing, Feb. 6, 2022

Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, a prolific writer and one of the most prominent living theologians, is a former member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission. His newest book is the second volume of Jesus Becoming Jesus: A Theological Interpretation of the Gospel of John. …


Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.When I first saw a grizzly bear, many years ago in the Canadian Rockies, for some reason the desire welled up within me to pet him.  He was so big and furry.  It would be marvelous, I thought, to pet a grizzly bear.  Of course, one could pet a sedated grizzly bear, but that really wouldn’t count. That would be cheating, and so the joy of petting him would be absent.  The obvious problem is that before I could get close enough to pet a grizzly bear, he would “pet” me, and that would abruptly and conclusively end my endeavor. Which brings me to my point.

Any good Thomist would tell us that animals, even the eminent grizzly bear, do not have immortal souls, and so upon death, they cease to exist.  That may be true.   …