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


Animal rights on the road to Rome

From The Catholic Herald dated April 27 1990

Beasts of the field, fish of the sea and birds of the air are creatures with souls which are being denied basic rights because of Catholic church teaching, according to a group of campaigners who plan to walk to Rome to protest at the Vatican 's treatment of their furry friends.

In a gesture reminiscent of Luther's 1517 petition on indulgences which he pinned to the door of Wittenberg church, the campaigners will affix their charter for reform to the door of St Peter's at the end of their march in July.

But while Luther's act of defiance led to a summons to the Diet of Worms, the latterday protestors are more likely to follow up their action with a nut roast and cabbage salad.

The walk, which will include campaigners from all over Europe , is being restricted to vegans and vegetarians.

Organisers hope to muster at least 250 marchers for the protest, which sets off from the Swiss-German border on July 2 and aims to reach Rome by the end of the month. There, they will ask the Pope to set up a commission to reassess church teaching, handed down from St Thomas Aquinas, that says animals have no souls.

Ann Sims, who is organising a conference at Essex University in June to gather support for the walk, said it was "quite ridiculous" for people to be told animals were without souls.

"St Francis of Assisi held that animals are our brothers and sisters and that they should be treated with respect. But because the church denies they have souls, they are often abused," she said.

With acknowledgement to the Catholic Herald Archive:

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