It’s safe to say that the dwindling number of men willing to enter the seminary has become an issue, as evidenced by Pope Francis saying that the Catholic Church would consider welcoming married men to become priests.
That said, one Franciscan monastery has decided to make an exception with regards to allowing only humans into the line-up by welcoming a dog into their order.
A stray dog was taken in by a monastery in Bolivia and was given the name Carmelo. His official monastic name is Friar Bigotón, which means Brother Mustache, alluding to the coloration of his hair resembling a man’s mustache. Before you ask, he probably did not take on any holy orders, but he was given his own robe, and that’s clearly the most important part. He has also been known to host sermons for the local fish, so he is clearly a protégée of St. Anthony of Padua, who was also known for doing just that.
Since Carmelo had been adopted with the aid of the rescue group, Frías Proyecto Narices (Project Cold Nose), he’s become big on the Facebook group for both the friars and the nonprofit group. In other news, monks have discovered Facebook. The friars hope that by adopting Carmelo they will inspire other similar religious groups to do the same and welcome animals into their lives. After all, with Carmelo functioning as the group’s mascot of sorts on Facebook, the PR ends up paying for itself.
Now, this all seems more than appropriate that it was a Franciscan group that took in a dog as their brother, as their namesake, St. Francis, was known for his love of animals. Having once tamed a wolf, according to a popular legend, he makes the Disney Princesses look like beefeaters.