By Vatican Radio (full text of letter from Father Federico Lombardi sj.)
The Vatican press spokesman and director of Vatican Radio has pledged to raise awareness about the illegal ivory trade, saying it is a “duty to combat a serious and unjustifiable phenomenon” such as the massacre of elephants. Father Federico Lombardi sj. was responding to an article in the National Geographic which accused the Church of supporting the use of ivory in religious devotional objects.
Below please find the full text of Fr. Lombardi’s letter to The National Geographic and its readers:
Elephant massacres and the illegal ivory trade
Dear Mr. Oliver Payne, Dear friends of the elephants,
Over the past few days my secretary, Ms. Christina Ravenda, and I have received a number of email messages and have thus been involved in the movement to save the elephants. While some of the letters have not been particularly kind or profound, many are both to the point and compelling; they are a true invitation to awareness and to the duty to combat a serious and unjustifiable phenomenon.
We were particularly touched by the testimony of a woman, the long-time administrator of a park in the Republic of Congo, who thoughtfully urged us to reflect upon how each of us might do as much as we can to remedy the disaster. We have, therefore, taken in hand the question that Mr. Payne posed a while ago, inquiring into factors and considerations in search of an answer. To tell the truth, we did not find many factors for a wide-reaching and exhaustive answer and that was why we had given up, being much occupied by other urgencies. Now, however, encouraged by your email messages, we are sending an answer, which naturally does not claim to be definitive in resolving the serious problems related to the massacre of elephants, but tries to show our attention to the gravity of the problem and our commitment to collaborate in as far as we are able.
Above all, the Catholic Church’s position and its teaching on the unjustified violence toward animals is clear and simple in its general principles and can be summarized as follows: More....