The Fellowship of Life
Church silence over cruelty to animals
I was very pleased to see Vivien Clifford's excellent article "Animal Liberation Now - tomorrow may well be too late", Oct 8.
Why is the Church so silent in its condemnation of animal abuse?
Surely everything that breathes has a soul, or does the Church
consider itself to be above living creatures because they have no
The animals stoned to death at carnivals in Spain is a prime
example of man's callousness. These carnivals only continue in the
name of 'tradition' and where were the local priests in allowing
these rituals to continue?
In all the years I have attended Church services, never once have
I heard prayers being offered up for animals.
The breakdown in moral society today stems from the fact that
love for humans as well as animals, not to mention respect, isn't
instilled and the sooner the Church includes animal suffering in its
denunciation of human suffering, society would be a more caring
Congratulations. At last we have an article on animal liberation
in a Catholic newspaper, Oct 8. I was brought up in the Roman
Catholic faith, but never cared much for any religion or philosophy
which fails to extend its compassion to all creatures on this
planet. Is the tide turning?
The Church of England is already involved in the politics of
disarmament and the Government's housing policies. Let the Catholic
Church be in the forefront of the struggle for rights for
While the fight against vivisection, factory farming, hunting and
all other forms of animal abuse in this country must be stepped up
we must not forget to extend our influence to other countries.
Top of the list comes Spain and Portugal with their obscene
bullfights and the stoning of animals for "sport". This could be
achieved by a campaign to severely damage the economies of such
countries and so force the Governments to introduce legislation to
outlaw the worst atrocities.
Congratulations to the Catholic Herald for publishing the article
by Vivien Clifford on animal rights, Oct 8. With a leader who is
such a compassionate man it is clear that the Catholics in this
country, and throughout the world should be concerning themselves
with the plight of animals who are today exposed to commercial
exploitation involving the suffering of many millions of animals.
I sincerely hope that the nuns at Northants will read the
excellent article by Miss Clifford and think again about keeping
birds that were given wings to spread by God, in conditions which
take away all that God gave them.
Animals are at this precise moment suffering on factory farms, in
research laboratories and waiting to be electrocuted by animal
welfare societies who are unable to cope with the sad remnants of
irresponsible pet ownership. The Church must stand up an be counted
on this matter or they surely have no right to enter the house of
I applaud your article Animal Liberation Now - tomorrow may well
be too late, Oct 8. At last the Catholic Press is speaking out
clearly in defence of the animals. Thank you for the article -
please continue to give space to animal welfare.
The assertion by Vivien Clifford, Oct 8, that the Church chooses
to remain silent over the torture of sentient creatures is not true.
God's Animals by the late Father Ambrose Agius, OSB is still
available from the Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare. However
it is due to failure of the priests to teach that the pulpit is
Vivien Clifford replies: With respect to the late good
Father Ambrose his publication existed before mass laboratory
cruelties to animals took place. It is a guide only and, although
valuable, not, sadly, an effective one. JJ O'Connor, in whom I am
well pleased, takes to hair splitting. The clergy surely are, or
should be, the body of Christ's Church. I repeat - let the Church
speak out for animal liberation - Now!
How we agree with Vivien Clifford's article on Animal Liberation,
When we joyfully joined the Church 12 years ago, we had no idea
of the attitude of the Church towards animals. If we had known, we
may have had second thoughts.
However, we remain faithful Catholics, and uphold all the Church
teaches concerning God, the human race, morals, etc. Our only
stumbling block is the animals question. So much of the joy we had
in our faith has gone because of it.
The only thing that keeps feelings of despair at bay, is our
belief that the God of Love, who according to Jesus, cares for every
single sparrow, wants people like us to work within and outside the
Church to change things.
This is why we are members of the "Catholic Study Circle for
Animal Welfare", and "Animal Aid", a national organisation.
Please, fellow Catholics, come and join us. The Catholic Study
Circle is at...
Reg and Ann Sims
I was most heartened to see the article on animal welfare in your
issue of October 8, since this is an area of life where a tremendous
amount of suffering and abuse goes on, disregarded by the majority
of people. I fervently hope the Catholic Church will bring this
whole subject to the attention of people, whether religious or not.
Miss Wanda Dejidko
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