Catholic Priest: Absolving Sins, Saying Mass–and Farming Foxes for Fur?

Published by PETA.

Sheep may safely graze, but foxes are out of luck at an abysmal fur farm in Joliet, Illinois, that’s run by, of all people, a Catholic priest. PETA recently filed a complaint with law-enforcement authorities regarding the fox fur farm, which is operated by the Rev. Richard Ross of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Joliet. While the agencies promptly launched an investigation, they were unable to take action against Ross because the conditions on this farm, while appalling, are not illegal.



The foxes are confined to cramped, rusty wire cages—with little protection from heat, rain, and snow—until the day they are slaughtered and skinned. Cages may contain up to seven foxes apiece, and one fox was caught on video spinning in circles—a classic symptom of “zoochosis,” or captivity-induced madness. As PETA researcher Dan Paden pointed out in a letter to Ross, even if such conditions do not violate Illinois law, they surely violate the church’s instructions to have “a religious respect for the integrity of creation.”

What kind of Christian—let alone a man of the cloth—would treat God’s creatures this way? The kind of man who would say (after his brother—who is also a priest—was accused of molesting a young boy), “I don’t have much sympathy for people who somehow couldn’t stop whatever happened. I’ll take all of these people who were abused, and I’ll abuse them with a baseball bat.”

After seeing how the Rev. Ross treats foxes, we believe him.

Please politely send your comments to:Rev. Richard Ross(815) 726-4474 St. Bernard Catholic Church1313 Ridgewood Ave Joliet, IL 60432-2698

Written by Alisa Mullins

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind