This letter is in response to America Magazine's decision to publish an article glorifying the cruel "sport" of bullfighting. The original article is available here.
For more information about the suffering of animals used for bullfighting, check out this resource from Humane Society International.
Dear America Magazine,
The St. Francis Alliance (SFA) writes to share its dismay that a Christian magazine published an article romanticizing bullfighting. SFA is a group of Catholics and other people of good will committed to seeking a just and compassionate world for all creatures.
In Laudato Si, Pope Francis wrote, “We have grown up thinking that we were her [the earth’s] owners and dominators, authorized to loot her.” In bullfighting, humans are "dominators" of God’s creation and treat it as cruelly as they wish. This article promotes the opposite of Pope Francis's instruction. Multiple popes have condemned the practice. In 1920, Benedict XV wrote the Church continues “loudly to condemn these shameful and bloody spectacles.”
The author acknowledges that bullfighting is cruel yet also portrays it as beautiful and meaningful. We are astonished that a Christian magazine would publish an article with so little nuance and in contravention of the Pope’s words and the Catechism which says of animals “men owe them kindness…It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.” Bullfighting serves no purpose other than the entertainment of a few. It is needless suffering and should be treated accordingly.