Benedict: The PETA Pope
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- you know, they who would rather go naked than wear fur (a stance which completely befuddles your future priests) -- have responded to a request for comment on Benedict XVI's choice of the winter (ermine) mozzetta, which he donned last Thursday for the annual homage to the Immacolata.
In a statement, PETA Vice President Dan Mathews said:
I imagine the furry cape is something that has been gathering dust in a Vatican closet and was made before church leaders – especially Pope Benedict XVI – recognized the importance of respect for animals. Benedict has spoken out firmly against factory farming practices and the needless cruelty inflicted for frivolous products such as pate de foie gras.People, this is the Gospel of Life.
And to reinforce the Ratzingerian record -- lest we forget the cats? -- we re-direct your attention to the L'Osservatore Romano piece written by the Belgian theologian Marie Hendrickx, a close collaborator of Cardinal Ratzinger's at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which emphasized that animal cruelty is "contrary to human dignity."
And if you haven't yet seen the stories of Ryan Erickson and the electric chair he made just so he could fry a gopher, you can take a gander at that, too.