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Priest bars dog from owner’s funeral

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In a move that brought displeasure to the hearts of residents of Turin a priest has forbidden a dog access to a church in which his owner’s funeral was being held.

By Nick Whittle , 28 Jul 2019

The church within the Pier Giorgio Frassati district of Italy’s northern powerhouse is cared for by Pastor Don Danilo Palumbo. On the 26th of May, the family of a deceased local man visited the church to celebrate his funeral. Accompanying the family to the church, was the man’s brown Labrador Pavel.

The coffin was brought into the church but the three priests welcoming guests at the front door denied Pavel access.

Despite the dog assuming a position at the door of the church, one of Pastor Palumbo’s sacristans demanded Pavel move even further into the street.

At this the dog began to howl, leaving mourners inside the church angry that the deceased’s long-time companion had been omitted from the proceedings.

Sympathy for Pavel

Following the service, one of the mourners told local news service Fantauzzi PRESS, “We only wanted him to stay close to his master as he always did and above all in the last few hours ... Because yes, he understood and watched over his human friend.

Pavel had remained silent and calm on the side-lines of the entrance but this was not enough. They insisted and made him retreat again, practically out of the church. From there he made small and understandable complaints.”

Church access

Britain’s Christian churches are leading the way in allowing dogs to attend services with their human families. In a recent poll conducted by The National Churches Trust, 63% of 285 respondents considered themselves “dog friendly” and said their church permits dogs, especially when the dog's presence is vital to the wellbeing of the parishioner.


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According to the trust, St Botolph, Boston in Lincolnshire was in 2016 officially recognised as an Animal Friendly Church.

Incidentally, the Rector of St Ignatius of Antioch in New York City allows his dog to be by his side at all times...


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