The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973


'PETA Campaign Coverage'
Turin Shroud in veggie campaign

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. - 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 archdiocesan officials.

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 campaign".

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.

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