The bullfight – only one reply from an Apostolic Nuncio to the many emails about bullfighting

From: Laurent Carrer [mailto:laurent@carreroffice. com
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 7:04 PM
Subject: Request to relay a message to the Holy Father
Dear Archbishop Christophe Pierre,
As a citizen of the world concerned by the cruelty to animals perpetrated in the name of religions, I respectfully request that you ask from the Holy Father to publicly and officially condemn the so-called blood fiestas that take place in many European and South American countries to celebrate religious holidays and feast days of saints.
Ms. Virgina Bell, from Catholic Action for Animals has written a compelling article arguing in favor of such condemnation: s=bullfight. Our online magazine The Positive Animal, read in some 40 countries, will be helping her with her campaign and we hope our voices are heard.
Respectfully Yours,
Laurent Carrer
Editor-in-Chief, The Positive Animal
From: Apostolic Nunciature [mailto:nuntiususa@nuntiususa. org
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:48 PM
To: ‘Laurent Carrer’
Subject: RE: Request to relay a message to the Holy Father
Dear Mr. Carrer,
In the temporary absence of the Apostolic Nuncio, I have received your e-mail message dated September 21, 2016, and have read the article by Ms. Virginia Bell to which you referred.
As Ms. Bell notes in her article, His Holiness Pope Francis affirms in the encyclical Laudato Si’  that cruelty to animals is contrary to human dignity (cf. 130)—a teaching that reiterates what is stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2418).
As can be discerned from his statements, Pope Francis approves of efforts to promote the proper treatment of animals as part of God’s creation, particularly when such efforts respect the “pre-eminence” of the human person (cf. Laudato Si’, 90).
With cordial regards and best wishes, I am
Yours sincerely,
Msgr. Walter Erbì
Chargé d’affaires, a.i.


Dear Msgr. Erbì,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email and read the article I mentioned in it.
I see in this situation—that of local populations either deliberately ignoring the Pope’s encyclical or not even being aware of it—a religious analog to a secular situation that took place in Greece a few years back, where the law of the land required local authorities to provide adequate shelters for homeless animals and local police to investigate cases of cruelty to animals. Although it was the law, lack of enforcement was blatant, and local citizens merrily poisoned, shot or otherwise abused cats and dogs, while the local police stations turned a blind eye … until the Commissioner issued a personal letter to each Chief of police, emphasizing that he cared about the matter and animal cruelty cases should be investigated. It hasn’t fully solved the problem, but things have improved, and this simple letter has saved countless lives and prevented much suffering with very little effort and cost.
All we’re asking is for his Holiness to make his position clear by sending a personal letter to the religious authorities in the countries/cities where blood fiestas are practiced in honor of Catholic saints, stating that such “celebrations,” due to their inherent cruelty to animals, are “contrary to human dignity” and should not be practiced by Catholics. I don’t think that speaking against the burning of live animals or the holding of chicken beheading contests goes against the “pre-eminence” of the human person.
Again, thank you for your kind attention.
Best regards,
Laurent Carrer
Editor-in-Chief, The Positive Animal