REPORTS that Pope Francis told a distraught little boy that dogs can go to heaven turn out to be wide of the mark.
The World’s Press picked up on a report in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, that suggested he said there was a place in heaven for people’s pets.
But it turns out his comments and the context into which they were put were misinterpreted. According to Vatican Radio what the Pope actually said was: “The Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us.” Corriere della Ser interpreted that remark to mean that dogs could go to heaven.
Other media sources than picked up the story and within hours it was making news around the world. To make matters worse the Pope was not talking to a distraught boy, but rather to a general audience, and comparisons the paper drew with remarks from Pope Paul VI were then attributed to Pope Frances by many news sources.
Outlets which misreported the comments included The New York Times, TODAY, and NBC News.
The Vatican has not directly clarified exactly what the Pope meant.