Vatican: ‘Bloodied’ Italian Star Begs Pope to Cut Ties With Bullfighting

Vatican City – As prominent Catholics gathered at the Vatican for the Synod on Synodality, today actor Loredana Cannata joined PETA supporters demonstrating nearby dressed as “bloodied bulls” with banderillas sticking out of their backs. Brandishing a banner proclaiming, “The Catholic Church Is Complicit in Bull Torture,” the activists reminded everyone that bullfights are often held in the name of Catholic saints. The action follows PETA’s campaign compelling Pope Francis to cut the Catholic church’s ties with bullfighting and condemn the reprehensible blood sport. The petition has gathered over 115,000 signatures to date from PETA entity supporters around the world.


Images and video of the action are available here.

“The church’s complicity in the torture and slaughter of bulls sickens me and all compassionate people,” says Cannata. “The pope must take a stand against bullfighting and end the Catholic church’s association with this barbarity inflicted on animals.”

“The Bible teaches compassion for all of God’s creations, but bulls in the bullring are repeatedly stabbed and then killed in front of jeering crowds,” says PETA Vice President for Europe Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA is calling on Pope Francis to cut the Catholic Church’s ties with the vile bullfighting industry.”

PETA points out that Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si’ that “[e]very act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity’”, and that as long ago as the 16th century, Pope Pius V, who was later canonised, banned bullfights for being “cruel and base spectacles of the devil and not of man”.

During these ritualised executions, bulls are taunted and stabbed with a lance and several banderillas. When blood loss has rendered the bull weak, the matador attempts to stab him in the heart or lungs with a sword. If he doesn’t die quickly enough, the matador will sever his spinal cord with a knife.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, or Instagram.


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]