Let’s all pitch in and buy the Pope more ermine

Oh brother.

Let’s all pitch in and buy the Pope more ermine.

 

Animal rights group protests over Pope’s fur

ROME (AFP) — One of Italy’s leading animal rights groups said Monday it was launching an Internet petition to demand Pope Benedict XVI stop wearing fur during religious ceremonies at the Vatican.

Lorenzo Croce, chairman of the Italian Association for the Defence of Animals and the Environment (AIDAA), denied being provocative or wanting to make an anti-religious statement.

"We just want to ask him in a message of love and peace to give a strong signal towards the protection of animals and the environment through a small but very significant personal sacrifice," Croce told the Italian news agency ANSA.

Since his election Pope Benedict has taken to wearing a number of traditional religious garments, including a small red velvet cape with a white ermine border, which he wears in winter along with a hat the same colour.

The association has created a website to accept signatures and Croce wants to present the petition to the pope in September.

Pope Benedict returned late on Monday to Rome after a nine-day visit to Australia marked by his historic apology for the scourge of paedophilia in the Catholic church.

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51 Responses to Let’s all pitch in and buy the Pope more ermine

  1. Dark Knight says:

    Their protests will mean that Ernie the Ermine died in vain back in 1923.
    Do they really want to transform Ernie\’s sacrifice into something meaningless?
    Talk about animal cruelty!

    Seriously, the furs the Holy Father is wearing have been dead for how many generations?

  2. Mary says:

    Dark Knight – my thoughts exactly.

  3. pattif says:

    Where do we sign up to support Ernie’s continued right to adorn the papal shoulders?

  4. Al says:

    What, you mean the “Green Pope” isn’t so green?

    This just proves how the Main Stream Media likes to twist things to suit its agenda. They try & claim the Pope is an environmentalist when all he is talking about is being a good steward of the environment.

    But then, they couldn’t realy focus in on his message of the Hioly Spirit last week could they? They know that that is not the spirit they operate under. Besides if they let the Holy Spirit get too close he just might convict them of their sins, like being pro-choice/pro-abortion.

  5. S.K. says:

    According to the article, there wasn’t anything extreme or drastic about the request or ensuing petition. These aren’t PETA whackos who are destroying property or the like. And they aren’t making outrageous demands that the Pope embrace vegetarianism or refuse to swat flies. And it DOES present somewhat of a contradiction that the Pope, who just preached about environmental concerns at WYD, is wearing fur.

    Here’s an easy solution: simply have the Vatican tailors create faux fur vestments to replace the current one. It can easily be done and will look the same. It would be a small and simple gesture which shows that the Pope is personally committed to his WYD message.

  6. Baron Korf says:

    Next thing you know they will be protesting the fish on friday’s tradition because of all the fishing required to feed 1 billion catholics each friday…

  7. Alessandro says:

    Poor pope: all against him for slaughtering cute animal for their fur….But may be those protestants (sorry: protesters) haven’t seen this:

    or this one:

    or this one

    In Italy Judges, University professors and many others still use ermine: so why bullying only the pope??

  8. Matt Q says:

    Al wrote:

    “What, you mean the “Green Pope” isn’t so green?

    This just proves how the Main Stream Media likes to twist things to suit its agenda. They try & claim the Pope is an environmentalist when all he is talking about is being a good steward of the environment.

    But then, they couldn’t realy focus in on his message of the Hioly Spirit last week could they? They know that that is not the spirit they operate under. Besides if they let the Holy Spirit get too close he just might convict them of their sins, like being pro-choice/pro-abortion.”

    )(

    So true, Al. So true. The concept of a free press being critical to a free society is true but when the press becomes the arm of an agenda actually trying to take away freedom, it’s got to be pointed out every step of the way.

    As it says in Genesis, Our Heavenly Father gave all the resources of the planet to man and for his benefit. We must have proper stewardship of them, of course, but to deny them they way these liberal tree-worshipers to do, no.

    A lot of this “Green” stuff is nonsense anyway. It’s PC band-wagoning and much of what they try to resolve actually creates greater issues down the line. All of a sudden all these “brilliant” ideas just pop up as though no one ever before thought of them–and thought out their long-term consequences? I am sure there are few out there who actually do think so.

  9. Flambeaux says:

    Faux fur requires petroleum to produce.

    Real fur is usually harvested from animals who are only bred for this purpose. Thus, to deny them the happy end of being fur trim is to interfere with their telos.

  10. Susan Peterson says:

    SK, a lot of us think it is perfectly fine to kill animals for fur, just as it is perfectly fine to eat them. So we don’t see why the Pope or anyone else should not wear fur. Most of us think this should be done with as little suffering for the animals as possible, not because animals have any rights, which they do not, but because it is bad for human beings to engage in cruelty.
    Susan Peterson

  11. Alessandro says:

    Look at the wonderful purple robes of Milan university professors:
    http://users.unimi.it/cnrmi/notiziario/immagini/6adea885.jpg

    and this one must be president Barroso taking his degree in Portugal:
    http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/president/images/photos/03577282-h.jpg

    Do I have to continue??

  12. Guy Power says:

    I’m a member of PETA: People who Eat Tasty Animals.

  13. Deusdonat says:

    Susan Peterson – Most of us think this should be done with as little suffering for the animals as possible

    Susan, it’s all good and well that you think this should be done. But the sad reality is what you think means very little to furriers, especially when they know you will buy their products anyway (i.e. if the animal suffered greatly). I’d like it if there were no more starving children in the world. But if I never prayed, fasted, donated and worked towards this goal, my words would seem pretty hollow on the matter, wouldn’t they?

  14. Matt says:

    I say more fur!

  15. Viritrilbia says:

    I have to agree with Deusdonat.

    And I think it is safe to say that animals do have the right to be respected– respectfully killed and eaten, or respectfully abstained from– as they are also part of the Lord’s good creation. However, daily global demand for animal products means that the furriers, industrial workers, and slaughterers involved do not have time or incentive to worry about what pain their animals– wards, if we are their stewards– undergo.

    There is a lot of video available documenting the routine mistreatment of animals in various industries. While some, or even most, activists are blind to the evil of destroying innocent human life, it does not mean that we as Catholics should be blind to everything else.

    The Pope should be able to wear these beautiful liturgical garments without harassment from the media, but it would be fantastic if he made a statement against the animal cruelty that is undeniably a part of our food and clothing industries.

  16. athanasius says:

    People for the
    Eating of
    Tasty
    Animals

  17. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Sheesh. Get a LIFE, willya?

    Its true, indiscriminate animal cruelty is wrong and I don’t support it either.

    But I do wish the “anti-furriers” would work on saving human babies and fight the growing of humans for spare parts. In the scheme of things this is way more important.

    Wanting fake fur? Nah. Sorry. Besides, its not wise to do “fake” anything involving the glory of God [no fake flowers on the altar, no recorded music during Mass, etc.]

  18. athanasius says:

    There I thought I was being original, too bad I didn’t scroll up and read some of the comments!

    Oh well. I find the whole animal rights track obscene, and a denial of human nature. We are better than the animals. I’m all for animal respect, for healthy food, for food without chemicals, but animals do not have rational souls. They do not have rights and are not made in the image and likeness of God. Even where someone cruelly abuses an animal, the sin which takes place is not toward the animal, as it has no rights, and there is no dignity which is being effaced, but rather, the person effaces his own dignity by acting below his reason when he harms animals without cause. Hurting animals breaks down natural barriers within men to harming human beings, hence the SS, the Gestapo, KGB, and the Ca’mere Rouge all began with animals. Killing animals for a purpose, meat, clothing, furniture, etc., I would even go so far as to add on hunting, produce different effects.

    Other than that there is no real issue here but the same stupidity I have come to expect from modern people.

  19. Fr. A says:

    I agree! I will take up a second collection for this effort! :-)

  20. Why is it that the animal rights folks are usually one and the same as the pro choice crowd? Save the animals but murder the babies. Good grief.

  21. Daniel Latinus says:

    Someone explain: how does using faux fur, or not using real fur, help or protect the environment in any meaningful way?

  22. Deusdonat says:

    Tina in Ashburn – Sheesh. Get a LIFE, willya?]

    Back atcha. And this time, I suggest a Catholic one.

    But I do wish the “anti-furriers” would work on saving human babies and fight the growing of humans for spare parts. In the scheme of things this is way more important.

    All life is important. Not equally important, but important. The fact that you would conclude that people who are against the furrier industry which is for the most part extremely cruel to animals do not care or work to end human suffering and injustice is both ignorant, pompous and completely out of touch. I happen to come from a long line of 3rd order Franciscans, most of whom are vegetarians. Oh, sorry, doesn’t sound like you ever heard of St Francis. Well, look him up. Anyway, he cared both about humans AND animals, as he saw the ballance one provided the other. (Part of God’s creation, remember?) And I daresay just from your comments, that these people have done more for humanity in their life than you could do in three of yours.

    Besides, its not wise to do “fake” anything involving the glory of God [no fake flowers on the altar, no recorded music during Mass, etc.]

    This has got to be one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever heard on the subject. So, we shouldn’t have decorative painting in church? No wood pillars painted like marble? No representational art depicting flowers, birds nature of any kind? Only the real thing brought in day after day? No electric lighting instead of candles? Something tells me, you really haven’t thought this argument or opinion through. And something also tells me this isn’t the first time.

  23. Deusdonat says:

    Why is it that the animal rights folks are usually one and the same as the pro choice crowd? Save the animals but murder the babies. Good grief.

    No disrespect, but please see my comments above. You seem to be under the misguided impression that eliminating animal cruelty means condoning human cruelty. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  24. Deusdonat says:

    I just read the article. Immediately I was struck that the title says, “Animal rights group protests over Pope’s fur” when Lorenzo Croce says very specifically “We just want to ask him in a message of love and peace to give a strong signal towards the protection of animals and the environment through a small but very significant personal sacrifice,”. This is a petition, not a protest. Big difference. And it definitely sounds respectful as he will present it to the Vatican in September (note: not protest in front of the Vatican or mug for the TV cameras).

    I guess I’m simply confused at the hostility and defamation going on here, insinuating that this man, as well as anyone concerned with animal cruelty must not care about humans. I have really only come across Americans who take this tactic. Maybe because the US is the biggest offender when it comes to consumerism? I’m at a loss here.

  25. Mitch says:

    Does Vatican City have a Hunting Lodge? I am all for balanced support against cruelty to animals, and cruelty seems the key word here, but as someone else pointed out, many of us eat animals as well…The point is where do we draw the lines? Do we not drive as not to run over anything, do we stop using insect repelant because of the lives of the insects..All are God’s creatures…If it is not a balanced limitation no one would leave from their home and soon humanity would cease to exist in fear of infliting cruelty….And I have known more than one person who is staunchly for animal protection but treat fellow man with some of the worst cruelties within human capacity…Anyone see a bitter divorce? And is it true, these garments are from 1923?

  26. Cole M says:

    May I suggest, Deusdonat, that animal rights groups are frequently part of the shrilly protesting left-wing fringe, at least in the United States. They frequently support other causes of the left e.g. abortion, thus the association. The animal rights activism doesn\’t logically lead to support of abortion, as you say, but they often appear together.

    In general, American conservatives (myself included) have this sort of reaction against calls to stop using real fur because such people are frequently nutty. We have both stewardship and dominion over creation, and to my mind using the fur of animals is fine as long as no wanton cruelty is involved. Just trying to explain the mindset.

  27. Fr. Guy says:

    The animals are God’s creatures too. But, he put them here so we could kill them, and eat them, and wear them.

  28. Deusdonat says:

    Mitch – many of us eat animals as well…The point is where do we draw the lines?

    You do what your conscience dictates. I eat meat as well, but not often as I can take it or leave it. I also wear leather, which is like fur for the most part. The point is to be aware of what you buy, what you eat and that unless you killed it yourself, you don’t know how it died. You can hedge your bets by buying food and clothing where you know the animals were grown and treated humanely. And you can cut down on your meat intake (i.e. abstaining on Fridays). These are just suggestions. Once again, do what your conscience tells you on the matter.

    And is it true, these garments are from 1923?

    If they are indeed antiques as it were, then the animal activists should definitely be aware that conditions have definitely changed since 1923. Mass consumerism and industrialization has dehumanized the process, as opposed to a furrier back in 1923 who worked order to order.

    COLE – In general, American conservatives (myself included) have this sort of reaction against calls to stop using real fur because such people are frequently nutty. We have both stewardship and dominion over creation, and to my mind using the fur of animals is fine as long as no wanton cruelty is involved. Just trying to explain the mindset.

    I appreciate your explanation. And yes, I have met some pretty nutty people in my life. But assuming someone is nutty at the begining of a conversation precludes any real dialogue or information sharing on ANY subject.

  29. Deusdonat says:

    FR GUY – But, he put them here so we could kill them, and eat them, and wear them.

    Are you sure? originally in genesis when the animals were created, humans (Adam and Eve) were herbivores until the fall. So, maybe humans ate animals out of necessity, but not out of some sort of divine privilege.

  30. Tobias says:

    I like to think that the invitation to eating meat (which took place after the
    Flood) was a response to the Fall. Now we have to combat the bestial, fleshly
    underbelly of our nature, which prior to the Fall automatically yielded to
    right reason. Now that there is a war between the spirit and the flesh, the
    rational and the brute, we are permitted to eat meat. Animals still may
    symbolize innocence, but now they also symbolize the bestial. Eating flesh
    symbolizes the new and violent opposition between the spiritual and the
    fleshly. So in the current circumstances, animals fulfill their telos
    (obeying and providing for their human masters) by yielding meat.

    I believe it was Xenocrates, Plato’s successor as head of the Academy, who
    said that the purpose of a pig’s soul was to keep pork from spoiling. Likewise,
    the purpose of an ermine’s soul is to produce fur for papal vestments. If
    ermines could become rational for a split second, I’m sure they’d prefer
    bearing fur for the glory of God to some Kafkaesque universe in which they
    serve no higher purpose . . .

  31. david andrew says:

    Right.

    So, no more 51% beeswax candles because the harvesting of the wax is a form of oppressive slavery for the bees.

    Oh, and from now on, the palia will be made of a rayon/polyesther blend, ‘cus sheering sheep is too traumatic for the sheep.

    What’s next?

  32. Richard T says:

    Real fur is a renewable resource, artificial fur comes from fossil fuels.

    Skin Ernie, save the planet!

  33. Tina says:

    Not to be cynical or anything, but isn’t the animal already dead? If he needed new ermine, there may be a point in asking His Holiness not to get some new fur, but if it is already dead, then really what’s the point?

    Isn’t it more offensive to kill the animal and not use it for anything? To have it sit in a closet?

  34. Tina says:

    I also liked how the article worked in the sex crisis. Totally unrelated but still managed to work it in.

  35. patrick f says:

    One thought…

    They are bored…

    Its amazing. Here you have people who have given up what they have to follow God (and any diocesan priest will tell you even though they dont take a vow of poverty, they still might as well have taken one). Yes, lets harp on them for being cold and trying to stay warm..brilliant.

    Folks, lets all pitch in and get the pope a nice synthetic parka…wont that look nice at a Papal ceremony..

  36. Maureen says:

    It says in the Bible that God showed Adam and Eve how to sew clothing from animal hides. Now, granted, the wearing of clothing is itself shown as one of the consequences of the Fall; but clearly, God does nothing which is not good. It is fallen Man who designed clothing made from leaves and non-animal substances. (Which makes sense, given that man first sinned through eating fruit, not through eating meat.)

    So fur and leather clothing is not just good, but divinely designed. It’s plant fibers that are a bit iffy.

    (Ditto Cain and Abel’s sacrifices, btw — plants not quite up to snuff.)

  37. Maureen says:

    Btw, I don’t want to insult vegetarians and such who have issues with animal products. I know I was a little hard on Bill Cork, and still feel guilty about that.

    Thing is, it’s fine to make sacrifices for yourself and they may enhance your spiritual life tremendously. But demanding that other people get rid of ordinary things which God and Catholic tradition have in fact said are perfectly okay to eat and use — that’s both morally iffy and extremely annoying.

    Jesus Christ ate meat. He caught, cooked and ate fish, and hired people working in the fishing industry without demanding they give up fishing — in fact, offering them an apotheosis of their job. Jesus Christ offered Himself up to become a meat sacrifice, and commanded that we eat of it. He wasn’t under any illusions that meat grows out of the ground in a plastic wrap kernel; and he was okay with that.

    Which makes sense, as He created animals that ate each other and plants whose roots eat animal remains. Maybe that wasn’t the original plan, but it was apparently quite worthy to be Divine Plan B.

  38. LCB says:

    I thought Papa Benedict was so mean that he wore a cape made from the fur of 101 dalmatian puppies.

    At least, that’s what Reuters said.

  39. mao now says:

    An ermines final horrible moments upon this earth, are filled with fear. I cant believe the Holy Father would expose himself to possibly absorbing that negative energy.(by wearing their fur) couldnt they just use the fur of those that died of natural causes in the wild?????

  40. Deusdonat says:

    Maureen – I agree with what you say for the most part. I believe that the Plan A was to live in perfect harmony with God and His creation. But plan B where we “make due” with what we need to survive is where we are at now due to the fall. But I would like to add that the bible shows us that what is good for one generation is not so for another. For example, after the flood, humans are allowed to eat essentially everything (omnivores), whereas I mentioned that before the fall humans were herbivores. Add to this, after the exodus from Egypt, humans were told to abstain from certain meats with cloven hooves, shellfish, certain birds etc (as well as a host of other tedious dietary prescriptions). Then God tells us through St Peter that it’s all good and yummy for us, provided it hasn’t been sacrificed to idols. So, we should prepare ourselves for changes as needed.

    And eating meat and using animals for labour and clothing is just fine, provided it is not done in excess (i.e. at the expense of future generations or those living today). I know by now it’s probably been told to the point of cliche’ but if you take an example of how much grain, drugs and water is used to sustain one cow for a year, you understand that the resources are pretty skewed. I honestly don’t think that the current amount of meat consumption is sustainable given the world population.

  41. Atlanta says:

    Fr. Z., you’re bad. LOL!

  42. Matt Q says:

    Athanasius wrote”

    “**P**eople for the
    **E**ating of
    **T**asty
    **A**nimals”

    Father Guy wrote:

    “The animals are God’s creatures too. But, he put them here so we could kill them, and eat them, and wear them.”

    )(

    I like that. Both Father and Athanasius are totally correct.

  43. Maureen says:

    “….couldnt they just use the fur of those that died of natural causes in the wild?????”

    Which natural causes don’t cause fear? Getting run over by a car? Getting killed by another ermine or predator? Starving to death? Old age, with the ermine’s death rattle in its throat as its little ermine mind struggles wildly for one more breath?

    And how is one to find and skin the ermine before the predators and scavengers eat it? Is one to tag and track every wild ermine every moment of its life, while said ermine constantly worries at the strange device implanted in its skin? How many ermines are allowed to die of the initial tranquilization, or of the follow-ups required when the transmitters cease working or fall off somewhere?

    I think cagefarming is a good deal kinder than this nightmare scenario of traps, endless tracking, and tranq guns, to be honest. Ermines are not, moreover, critters that live well in encroaching suburbia or mix gracefully with farms. If it weren’t for the fur industry, they might well be extinct by now.

    Of course, with Europe’s dipping population, we will probably have many wild ermines to hunt. Wolfpacks have taken over many deserted village areas, so ermines can’t be far behind.

  44. Matt says:

    I agree this protest is absurd. It’s even more absurd when you realize that ermine is mot much more than a weasel with white fur.

  45. Spiggle says:

    “Wolfpacks have taken over many deserted village areas”

    No, they really haven’t. Where do bizarre ideas like this come from?

  46. EJ says:

    If these animal-rights advocates were as vocal and passionate about the legal infanticide which butchers millions of the unborn year after year, as they are over the butchering of weasels for their fur – it would be a little less damning. I am a pet-owner and an avid outdoorsman, so I could not despise animal cruelty or the ruin of our natual environment more- but as a Christian man I must first contribute all I can to fight for the rights of man and his dignity, and put that before the weasel, the spotted owl, etc etc. And how do they know that real ermine was indeed used, or if it’s not an older mozzetta from decades ago?

  47. Deusdonat says:

    EJ – once again, fighting animal cruelty and human cruelty are not mutually exclusive. I don’t know why certain people can’t get their minds around this fact. Evil is evil.

  48. Brillat-Savarin says:

    Deusdonat,
    Whatever the condition of man before the fall, God commands the ating of Flesh in several places. For that matter, we see no evidence of Man eating flesh until after the flood; Before that animals are only consumed in holocausts. God specifically commands Noah to eat meat. Furthermore, in the book of the Acts, God commands Peter to “kill and eat” as a sign that are things have been made clean in Christ. Our Lord himself ate meat on several occasions. Let’s not let a personal agenda interfere with the Faith or legitimate tradition

  49. Doug says:

    I wonder what vegetarians think of transubstantiation?

  50. David Kubiak says:

    I would prefer to remember that all ermine in vesture was abolished by that
    wretched document ‘Ut Sive Sollicite’. That the Pope has taken to wearing the
    traditional winter fur leads me to conclude that the directives of USS as a whole
    have fallen into abeyance — bring on the tufted fascia!