Pope Francis Urged to Ban Mexican Festival that Makes a Mockery of Christian Values

For Immediate Release:
27 July 2016

Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 207 837 6327, ext 235; [email protected]


PETA Sends Letter Pointing Out That Event in Which an Animal Is Hacked Apart and Left to Die Has No Place in His Holy Church

Rome – Following the release of horrific footage of the Saint Anne festival in Mochitlán, Mexico, in which a live bull’s throat is slit, his horns are hacked off, and his blood is drunk by humans to “honour” the patron saint, PETA rushed a letter today to His Holiness Pope Francis asking for a ban on the cruel event, which goes against the Christian message of kindness and compassion. The letter points out that bulls, like humans and all other animals, are God’s creation and experience pain, suffering, joy, and sorrow.

“Plunging a knife into a bull’s stomach, hacking off his ears, and leaving him to die slowly in agony and fear makes a mockery of Christianity’s clear teachings of mercy and compassion”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA is calling on His Holiness Pope Francis to ban this disgraceful event and establish a new tradition that truly honours Saint Anne without harming any of God’s creatures.”

In its letter, PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that Pope Francis has previously spoken out against exploiting and abusing animals, writing, “Every act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity'”. His predecessors have expressed similar sentiments. In a 2002 interview, His Holiness Benedict XVI said, “Animals, too, are God’s creatures”. He also said, “[W]e cannot just do whatever we want with them”. His Holiness John Paul II also famously declared that “animals possess a soul”.

PETA’s letter to Pope Francis is available here. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.