Pope Ratzinger Is A Lover Of Cats!
Niki Behrikis Shanahan
The recently elected 78-year-old pope, Joseph Ratzinger, loves cats! Pope Ratzinger has a house in Germany that he had built in 1970. The house is on a quiet street with a walled garden. A bronze sculpture of the Virgin Mary gazes over beds of roses and daffodils, while a statue of a cat stands next to a sliding glass door. The pope, says his neighbor, Rupert Hafbauer, adores cats. While he doesn't live in the house any longer full-time, he visits there on holidays, vacations, and special occasions.
His other interests are science and music. He loves music, especially Mozart, and plays the piano.
Just hours after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was named Pope Benedict XVI, PETA offered congratulations and urged His Holiness to include animals in the Catholic Church’s areas of concern.
The new Pope has spoken movingly about the exploitation of all beings, particularly of farmed animals. When he was asked about the rights of animals in a 2002 interview, he said, "That is a very serious question. At any rate, we can see that they are given into our care, that we cannot just do whatever we want with them. Animals, too, are God's creatures."
Cardinal Ratzinger was echoing official church teachings, as laid out in the Catholic Catechism, which states clearly that “Animals are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with His providential care. By their mere existence they bless Him and give Him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals. . . . It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.”
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