Tell Pope to Denounce Bullfighting

Target: Pope Francis

Goal: Make public statement denouncing the practice of fighting bulls.

While other forms of animal cruelty are considered inhumane by the Catholic Church, a stance has yet to be taken on the issue of bullfighting. Practiced across the world, especially in dominantly Catholic countries and regions, bullfighting would likely decrease if Pope Francis issued a statement and had his bishops spread the word that this act of torture will no longer be endorsed. Years of tradition and resistance from ruling governances has prevented previous comment by past popes, but it is time the Roman Catholic Church took a stand against the inhumane act of fighting bulls.

While bullfighting has been around for centuries, it was dominantly practiced by Christian knights and noblemen in 18th century Spain before the French influenced them to abandon the appalling ritual. Peasants took up the sport for spectatorship, and as the events always draw a crowd, it continues to this day. The Catholic Church has almost always been against the public slaughter of animals other than when it comes to bulls. It is believed that one of the reasons bulls don’t receive equal treatment is because of their characteristics (e.i. hooves, tail, horns) resembling a popular representation of the devil.

It is estimated that 250,000 bulls, cows, and calves are tortured each year worldwide, and for every 18,000 bulls that die, one matador dies. Bulls are beaten into submission and tortured with pins and chemicals. Before the matador arrives, the bull is stabbed in the shoulders, debilitating the use of his horns. After further injuring and humiliating the animal, the matador appears and does a little dance before shoving a sword through the bull’s back to sever the heart. It usually takes several tries, and sometimes the bull’s spinal cord has to be severed in a final attempt to take its life.

In the past, political pressure from countries who heavily engage in bullfighting prevented popes from taking a public stance on this matter. Bullfighting is sometimes used to draw people to church events around the world, and it is likely that many bishops benefit from the profits made off spectators. By showcasing extreme control over another living creature, this cruel act promotes violence and aggression, which the Catholic Church is supposed to be against. Sign this petition and demand that Pope Francis speak out publicly against the abomination of bullfighting.


Dear Pope Francis,

You have previously stated that you believe all creatures are equal and that any act of cruelty against another living being is in contrast to human dignity, yet the Roman Catholic Church has yet to speak out against bullfighting. This horrendous act is a tradition in many countries whose residents are dominantly Catholic, and those in the past who have held your position have been unwilling to take action due to political pressures. While you remain silent on this subject, hundreds of thousands of bulls are tortured and slaughtered each year worldwide.

Bullfighting is one of the most gruesome forms of animal cruelty known to mankind. Speaking out against this diabolical act of torture would condemn Catholics who partake in bullfights and likely decrease the frequency of this act. I urge you to immediately make a public statement against bullfighting.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo

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  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:


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