PETA Asks Pope Francis to Be a Saint to Animals

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

Newly elected Pope Francis is already making clear that his focus will be to embrace the disadvantaged. He chose his papal title in homage to St. Francis of Assisi, a renowned advocate for the poor and the patron saint of animals and the environment. PETA has written to His Holiness to congratulate him and to offer a couple of simple ways that he can follow in St. Francis’ footsteps as a champion for animals. Because of the unholy abuse on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, we’ve asked Pope Francis to ensure that no factory-farmed meat, eggs, or dairy products are served at the Vatican and to offer as many meat-free meals as possible. | cc by 2.0

Previous popes have expressed concern for animals and their well-being. Pope John Paul II was a noted animal advocate who declared that animals are “as near to God as men are.” He also maintained that animals “possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren.” Pope Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict XVI felt that “[a]nimals, too, are God’s creatures. … [T]his degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.”

God clearly instructs his followers to “love one another” (John 13:34), “be merciful” (Luke 6:36), and not to harm one another (Isaiah 11:9).

Hopefully, Pope Francis will continue to guide Catholics down the compassionate path that his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, set out on so many years ago.

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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