Raid on Vatican, Abruzzo Ivory Shops, Religious Statues Seized

Forestry Department officials in Italy have just raided ivory shops in Vatican City and Abruzzo, seizing ivory religious sculptures. 

Here is a google translate of the press release:

These are artifacts representing religious subjects made of elephant ivory. The cost of goods for sale ranged from 400 to 40,000 euro, for a total value of more than 150 thousand euro

29 Oct 2012. Rome. Statuettes and other precious ivory objects of a religious nature, beautifully sculpted by hand, were seized by agents of the CITES Service of the Central State Forestry Corps of Rome, in an important gallery in Rome at the Vatican Walls. 


The operation is part of a wider system of checks carried out by the Forestry in some shops in the area particularly frequented by international tourists. material seized from Continue reading “Raid on Vatican, Abruzzo Ivory Shops, Religious Statues Seized” »

Pope Petition Proffered

“Ari P.” from Canada in response to Blood Ivory: Ivory Worship has launched this online petition to Pope Benedict XVI calling upon Vatican City to sign the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and end the use of ivory in religious carvings.

Now would seem an opportune time for the Vatican to lead other religions on the issue of ivory trafficking and elephant poaching, and to fortify its stated commitment to the environment. Sign the petition if you agree. Or, start your own initiative.

I have no connection to this effort btw, but if you do undertake a project like this, send me an email and I’ll be happy to post something about it.

“How pious Catholics finance African wars”

Here’s some news from CatholicOnline, “How pious Catholics finance African wars.”  An excerpt:

….Without realizing it, many Christians, particularly Catholics in Africa and Asia, are praying for peace, praying for the environment, praying for so many good things-all while reflecting on the beauty of an ivory icon, poached from an endangered animal. All the while, money spent to purchase the icon continues to fuel conflict in Africa. more…

Is the Church Tossing Out Environmental Opportunity?

With all of the opportunity for good Blood Ivory represents for people in Africa (and the Philippines), not to mention for elephants, it is disconcerting that the archbishop of Cebu believes that my exposing the ivory trade results from anti-church “bias.”

The Archbishop would appear to want things both ways: He wants to take credit for the Vatican’s finally investigating Monsignor Garcia on child sex abuse charges the Church has known about for a quarter century (hilighted in Blood Ivory), while assessing blame on Blood Ivory’s report about Catholics’ role in the global ivory trade.  Both are facts worthy of positive leadership.  The treatment of children has been such a hard-learned lesson for the Church I grew up in, can it be true the Church will miss the same lesson when it comes to animals and the people who protect them?