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


Outrage over live dove torture

With reference to correspondence (3 July): Some years ago, before I retired, I was asked several times, as a Catholic veterinary surgeon, why my Church stood by and made no attempt to stop cruel practices carried out as part of religious services, e.g. goats being thrown from church towers, and a live dove being used in a Catherine wheel.

Aside from humanitarian considerations, these practices must surely give scandal to Christians of other denominations who may, dare I say it, have a more gentle and compassionate approach to God's creatures?

At the time I was asked the foregoing question I wrote to the Holy Father and the Cardinal. I received not one reply or acknowledgement.

Let us perhaps remember that cruelty to animals often leads to cruelty to children later on, and child abusers often start off their awful practices with animals.

I firmly believe that one day Man will have to give a very serious accounting to Almighty God for the way he has maltreated, abused and misused, by both omission and commission, the Heavenly Father's animals. Man's stewardship will have to be well explained.

Brian C Sherlock
Catholic Herald

I refer to the news item about a "crucified" dove, which graced your front page (3 July), and I quote a story:

A Buddhist monk and another man went for a walk when, as he was about to tread on a beetle on the path, the monk pushed the man aside.

"Ah! The poor little soul!" said the man piously.

The monk answered, "It was not the beetle's soul I was worried about, but yours!"

Mrs G Edwards

Thank you for the coverage you are giving to animal cruelty in the Church. Perhaps somebody - in "high places" - may be prompted to do something!

Matthew and Irene Stone

See Article: No help for dove from above

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