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His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Vaticano City
Italy

Sample Letter:

His Holiness Pope John Paul II,

I join my voice to millions of other catholic people around the world asking you to condemn cruelty to animals during religious festivals either in Spain, Brazil, Portugal and any other country that celebrates Holidays by torturing animals.

SPAIN

In Spain all types of animals are victims of cruelty during fiestas. Goats are thrown from church towers, chickens are beheaded by blindfolded children, rabbits are stoned to death, but it is the bull that bears the brunt of the cruelty. Although fiestas are held throughout the year they reach their peak in July and August, when in Castellon they are held almost every day.

A witness described a fiesta in the province of Castellon: 

" Suddenly, the crowd cheered loudly and the bull was dragged into the square by ropes attached to its horns. The rope was passed through a post in the middle of the square on to which the animal was pulled. It struck the post head first with a loud thud. The organizers of the event surrounded the immobilized bull, screwing a crude metal harness onto its horns. This carried balls of rope soaked in resin and wax which were set ablaze. Gradually, all those close to the animal fled to the edges of the square taking cover behind barriers. As the last man present cut the rope and fled, the bull looked up in bewilderment and stampeded around the square. Seconds later its horns exploded with fireworks, sending the confused animal into a further frenzied rage.Children gather round the slaughtered bull.The crowd roared and cheered. The fireworks slowly died and the square became lit solely by the flickering flames emanating from the bull's horns. As the animal settled, spectators entered the ring to taunt the animal further. The aim appeared to be to get as close a possible and receive the biggest cheer from the crowd. The more aggressively the bull responded the greater the cheer would be. The bull clearly worked out the pointlessness of staying in the crowded square and after only a few minutes fled out of the only exit onto the surrounding streets. For the next 90 minutes there the bull remained. To its great misfortune the animal decided that it preferred not to run and chase the spectators who rushed to torment it. This only meant that its punishments. Grew more and more severe. Unlike many fiestas involving bulls, spears or darts aren't thrown at Albocacer, but large sticks were used repeatedly to beat the bull and encourage it to return to the main square and show its aggression." 

BRAZIL

The same brutality happens in Brazil, in the state of Santa Catarina, with the practice of Farra do Boi. The population of each little coastal town and village, exults in spending the whole day drinking alcohol and beating to death the ox with knives, stones, sticks and piercing objects of all sorts. In greatest joy, they break its bones, pierce its eyes and don't even let it be killed by some merciful soldier.

Exhausted, tortured and suffering, they comfort him by giving him SALT water to drink!! And the festival happens in the HOLY FRIDAY, on Easter. The ox represents Judas.

The following was publish on local newspapers:

" Father Ovidio Zanini, the parish priest, was indignant at the hysteria of the pursuers. He called the police and was informed that police authorities were oriented not to intervene in Farras.The ox was dragged away."

" A mob pursued a terrified steer more than a mile up a hill in the capital of the state. As the animal got tired of running and too exhausted and panicky to move, people set fire to the vegetation and destroyed 40.000m2 of Atlantic Forest. The animal got so frantic that it fell off the hill and smashed itself against some rocks underneath and there it stayed the rest of the day and a whole night, until it was reached by pursuers, finished off and its meat divided among participants. TV evening news showed the merry mob dancing and holding its head in triumph, parading downhill." 

In 1998 the Farra do Boi was banned in the whole territory of Brazil (however it only happens in Santa Catarina). The Supreme Court considered the festival intrinsically cruel, therefore criminal.The Governor of Santa Catarina do not punish anyone who practices Farra do Boi. Despite the ban they say that is a tradition and Brazilian people has been watching outraged such cruelty to animals and lack of compassion in the name of God.
 

PORTUGAL

It is planned to have bullfighting in the holy city of FATIMA! Activists around the world are protesting but only YOUR word can stop such sacrilege.
 

Your Holiness, we know that God do not approve the torture of any living creature. We've been signing petitions and sending letters for Spanish,Brazilian and Portuguese authorities for decades but there were not many  changes. Farra do Boi was banned by law, but the government does nothing to stop it. The Spanish Fiestas also have been outraging compassionate people around the world.

Please, we implore you to intervene in order to ban animal torture in holy celebrations. We are in the XXI Century and these remaining of The Catholic Church in the middle ages is unacceptable.

There is no other human being that we can address our hope and trust besides you... 

For the sake of all God's creatures please tell the world that animals also deserve our compassion.
 

Sincerely,

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