Fur flies over pope

Pope Benedict’s fondness for fur trim on his hats and capes has come under fire from an Italian animal rights group, which has launched an online petition to persuade the pontiff to switch to synthetics.

Benedict has taken a traditional approach to papal formal wear, reviving the camauro, an ermine-trimmed red-velvet hat favoured by the 17th-century pope, as well as donning a cape trimmed with ermine, which is the white winter coat of the stoat.

But his use of ermine, long favoured by kings, judges and nobles, has drawn the ire of the Italian Association for the Defence of Animals and the Environment, which had by last week gathered 2 260 signatures for its petition.

“The pope has often talked about protecting the environment and we are asking that he acknowledges that animals, as God’s creation, also deserve respect,” said the organisation’s head, Lorenzo Croce.

Benedict’s use of fur was defended yesterday by Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo. “Aren’t there more important battles to wage?” he asked. “There are human beings who merit more urgent assistance that no one is taking care of. And if we eat animals, we can wear them.”


Animal lovers signing the petition may be hoping that a pope known for his fondness for cats may eventually extend his love to stoats and weasels.

In an interview in 2000, before becoming pope, Benedict said he opposed factory farming and the fattening of geese to make foie gras. “Animals too are God’s creatures,” he said, “creatures we must respect as companions in creation and as important elements in creation.”–

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

From rags to riches — if we support local clothing manufacturers

Reviving our industry to its former glory is possible. We have the infrastructure, talent, and a population that is eager to work. Now we just need consumer buy-in.

Extract from ‘Born to Kwaito’: How we choose to fashion ourselves

How we choose to dress is an instrument to communicate personal, race, class, gender and identity politics, as discussed in this extract from ‘Born to Kwaito’

The Portfolio: Lebogang Tlhako

Photographer Lebogang Tlhako uses collage to explore making up something that isn’t there

How the clothing industry is adapting now that runways are out of fashion

The fashion business is going digital to attract consumers in the absence of being able to physically parade its wares

Artclub and Friends: “Every purchase is a vote”

Founder Robyn Keyser chats to us about how she and her utilitarian fashion brand are surviving the lockdown

The Portfolio: Sandile [Nothing] Mhlongo

Sandile Mhlongo is a self-taught art director who draws his inspiration from several disciplines, including fashion, carpentry and gaming
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Eastern Cape universities concerned by rising Covid cases

Fort Hare says 26 more students have tested positive while Walter Sisulu University says some of its students have been admitted to hospital.

SAA in talks to recoup R350-million in blocked funds...

The cash-strapped national carrier is in the process of recouping its blocked funds from Zimbabwe, which could go towards financing the airline’s business rescue plan

NSFAS’s woes do not help its mandate

Nehawu wants the scheme’s administrator, Randall Carolissen, to be removed

Unions cry foul over SABC dismissal costs and retrenchments

Broadcaster bodies say claims that a recent skills audit is unrelated to retrenchments are ‘irrational’
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday