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

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Letters

Tradition of animal sacrifice shameful

On Sunday 19th of March, Catholics throughout the country will have listened with varying degrees of credulity to the apologia of their Priests in relation to the historical tradition of animal sacrifice.

There exists a general notion embedded within Christian theology that Jesus would have been more concerned with the mercenary activities of money changers in the Temple, than with the suffering and defilement which was wrought through the blood of their innocent animal victims.

The latter prophets had roundly rubbished the notion that animal slaying could somehow atone for human sin. If anything such conduct compounded offences (Isaiah 1:11-15, Hosea 8:13, Amos 5: 21-25, Micah 6: 6-8).

When the age of prophecy became outlawed, around 200 B.C. the priests were able to return to heinous forms of worship which conveniently raised revenue and served as a pretext for dining on the flesh of those "offered" to their creator.

The profanity which this ongoing state of affairs would have represented to Our Lord has traditionally been underestimated by the Church. On one occasion Jesus even quotes Hosea: "But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent." (Matthew 12:7) There is a world of difference between the challenge of Christ's call to self-sacrifice and the mere murder of those that so often suffer for the sake of human folly.

Whilst a whole range of unedifying practices within the Bible have been brought into line with civilisation; it would appear that those unable to voice their claims of respect from the religious, remain, as yet, beyond the pale of genuine consideration.

Yet God's grace continues to reveal itself to "those with ears to hear" with the result that many pews will never become occupied by humane and the ethical individuals who remain scandalised by Christian attitudes towards the least among us.

Catholic Times
(2/4/06)

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