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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Ethical Treatment of Animals

A message from Al . . .


Could you please answer a question for me . . . I don’t understand why God hates animals. I know he gave man free will. Animals depend on humans to take care of them. But humans do such horrible things to them and they can’t take care of themselves. Please help me understand. Thank You.

My response . . .

God loves his creation.  Genesis tells us that God gave the stewardship and subjugation of material creation into the hands of humanity.  Pope Francis and others would remind us that sometimes we have failed in this sacred charge, trashing the environment and either abusing the animals with which we share the good earth or even speeding certain species toward extinction.  The fault as with all sin is a misuse of human freedom.  The problem is not God but the callous way that we as men and women treat what God has made.  Humanity stands between the two created realms— the spiritual and the material.  Our souls possess a kinship with the angels while our bodies make us a part of the mortal and physical world.  Certain animals like dogs have developed a shared affinity and friendship with the human race.  Others are used as beasts of burden and as food.  This might seem harsh, but it is all part of the nature of things. Even if animals should not have immortal souls, nothing is lost in God. We can have certitude that all things continue to exist as eternal paradigms in the divine mind.  If people fail to show compassion to other human persons, should we be surprised when animals are mistreated?  Maybe God has given you this keen appreciation of the status of animals so that you might become an advocate for their ethical treatment?