The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is disgusted to note that the practice of priests blessing foxhunts is continuing.
A photo has surfaced which shows an unidentified priest holding a bible and sprinkling holy water over a pack of hounds. The sickening image was taken during the 2015-16 hunting season at a meeting of the West Wexford Harriers foxhunt.
This is the same hunt which this month posted photos on its Facebook page of a terrorised fox desperately trying to jump across a river in a bid to escape the hounds. The animal leaped from the river bank and fell into the water before clambering up the opposite bank. It is unclear if he managed to escape or was later caught and torn apart by the pursuing dogs.
ICABS has brought the photograph to the attention of the Irish Bishops Conference who have in the past said that the bishops “would not condone the practice of priests blessing foxhunts”.
According to the Catholic Catechism, “It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly…Animals are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence, they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St Francis of Assisi or St Philip Neri treated animals.”
Urge the President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference to act to finally stop hunt blessings.
Archbishop Eamon Martin
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
President, Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Ara Coeli, Armagh BT61 7QY
Tel: +44 (0)28 3752 2045
Tel: 048-3752 2045 (from the Republic)
Send a tweet to Eamon Martin and Pope Francis
@ArchbishopEamon @CatholicBishops @Pontifex Foxhunting is cruel. Please act to stop hunt blessings in Ireland.