From The Catholic Times
dated October 15, 2000:
The commission overseeing the Shroud of Turin's 2000 exhibition
denounced a US animal rights organisation advertisement that uses an
image from the cloth.
The Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
has unveiled the new campaign in Turin, Italy.
The poster features the head portion of the shroud, believed by many
to have been Christ's burial cloth, with the slogan: Make a Lasting
Impression...Go Vegetarian. The bottom of the ad reads: Jesus was
veggie. Follow Him. JesusVeg.com - a plug for a PETA website that offers
what it says is evidence that Jesus never ate meat and sets forth
arguments in favour of Christians turning to vegetarianism.
The Turin archdiocesan commission in charge of the shroud's Holy Year
display expressed disapproval over the advert.
"The image of the shroud was used by PETA without any contact with
the commission or with the pontifical custodian," said Archbishop
Severino of Turin.
While not under copyright, the image of the Shroud of Turin cannot be
reproduced for any commercial purposes without authorisation from Turin
In a statement, the commission said PETA's use in an ad campaign of
an image that impacts believers' relationship with Christ is a 'sign not
only of bad taste but also of a lack of respect for the deepest feelings
of many people".
As for the theory that Jesus was vegetarian, said the statement,
PETA's arguments are based on "historically unfounded affirmations". The
commission said Jesus' participation in the Passover meal, in which lamb
is eaten, represented evidence to the contrary.
While the commission said its criticism took nothing away from other
arguments against eating meat, it said vegetarianism had "nothing to do
with the truth of the Gospel".
Dan Matthews, PETA's director, who travelled to Italy for the
campaign's launch, said he was "absolutely going ahead with the
Asked if he had considered contacting the shroud commission before
going ahead with the campaign, Matthews said he felt it would have been
"inappropriate" to ask for approval.
"I don't think Jesus and what he represents belongs to any one person
or cathedral," he said.
"The Church has no problem with the use of the image on rulers, pens,
mugs, scarves and even wallets...for profit."
Reproduced with thanks.