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Viral video of dog “stealing” loaf of bread during Mass

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COLOMBIA

Parroquia Jesús Obrero de Nazareth de Nobsa

Pablo Cesio - published on 07/03/22

The scene caused hilarity among those present, and the reactions on social networks weren’t long in coming.

The video below goes straight to the point. Right after the Offertory procession, a dog appears on the scene, and when it nears the altar it grabs the loaf of bread from the side table and runs off with it.

The scene caused hilarity among those present, and the reactions on social networks weren’t long in coming. “The kingdom of God belongs to the courageous,” wrote one internet user.

Many of the comments reflected some degree of confusion about what the dog took: it was a loaf of bread carried symbolically in the offertory procession, not the hosts to be consecrated.

News outlets such as Noticias Caracol, among the many that reported the episode, explain—based on the profile of the person who posted the video—that the incident took place at the shrine of Our Lady of Belencito, in the Colombian department of Boyacá.

What happens when a dog appears at Mass

What happened in Colombia is not an isolated case when it comes to the presence of pets at religious celebrations. There are many examples, from bringing animals to church for blessings (as happens at many parishes on or around the feast of St. Francis, or the Nicaraguan tradition to bless dogs in honor of St. Lazarus) to efforts by priests to help stray dogs.

One example that got a lot of social media attention in recent years is that of Fr. João Paulo Araujo Gomes, a Brazilian priest who became famous for inviting the faithful at his parish to adopt abandoned dogs rescued from the street. It’s common to see dogs near the altar at the parishes where he serves:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Padre João Paulo (@pe_joao_paulo)

A message on social media

In this Instagram post, Fr. João Paulo answers those who criticize his action on the behalf of abandoned dogs:

The text accompanying the photo reads:

Love for animals is a cause for criticism from so many people, including those who claim to have faith and who in their arrogance think that only those they want to get into heaven will get into heaven. It’s not uncommon for us, protectors [of animals], to be criticized as if we were unbalanced or as if we put love for animals above love for God and people. When asked which was the greatest commandment, Jesus didn’t answer which, but joined a passage from a Jewish prayer that says to love God with the precept “love your neighbor,” showing that there is no faith without charity.

The criticism of St. James is useful: “Show me your faith without works, and I will show you mine by works.” Maybe you think, “The Word says to love people, not animals.” What a lack of faith! When I love, rescue, and protect an animal, I am loving, protecting and rescuing humanity. And Matthew 25 shows that we will be judged exactly by our love. Love everyone, including nature and animals, and don’t be afraid; the doors of heaven will be open for you!

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