‘Giant Nuns’ Call On Pope Francis to End the Church’s Ties to Bullfighting

Posted by on September 23, 2023 | Permalink

PETA supporters perched on stilts and dressed as nuns were in Marseille today, together with animal advocacy group Catholic Concern for Animals, urging the visiting Pope Francis to publicly condemn the cruel torture of bulls.

The “nuns” reminded the gathering crowds that holding bullfights in honour of saints or during Catholic celebrations goes against the Christian teaching of compassion for all. The action is part of an international campaign by PETA entities calling on Pope Francis to take a stand against bull torture.

Bull Torture Is Anything But Christian

Bullfighting is a ritualised massacre that could not be further removed from Christ’s teachings of love and mercy towards every living being. The Bible asks us to be compassionate to all of God’s creations, yet bulls are being tortured in the name of saints.

His Holiness Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si’ that, “Every act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity’”, and as early as the 16th century, the now canonised Pope, Saint Pius V, banned bullfights on account of their being “cruel” and contrary to “Christian piety and charity”. This ban, which forbids priests and other clergy from attending bullfights and precludes such events from taking place on religious holidays, is technically still in place today. However, because of the Church’s failure to enforce this ban, Catholic priests officiate at religious ceremonies in bullrings and even minister to bullfighters in chapels built inside arenas.

Bloodbaths and Ritualised Executions

During these bloody executions, the bulls are tormented and stabbed with spears and banderillas until they are weakened and defenceless. Then, a matador stabs the animal with a sword. Often, the bull drowns in his own blood when his lungs are pierced instead of his heart. Finally, a knife is used to cut the bull’s spinal cord and he is dragged away – just as another bull is forced into the ring to endure the same fate.

Take Action for Bulls

Pope Francis is widely celebrated for his kindness to animals, so PETA is calling on him to take a stand against these abominable spectacles and let the 1 billion Catholics around the world know that bullfights go against Christian virtues.

Please sign our petition to Pope Francis, urging him to publicly denounce the cruelty of bullfighting spectacles in the Church’s name: