Tag: Tattoos

Pope backs tattoos as they can help priests connect with the ‘culture of the young’

Pope backs tattoos as they can help priests connect with the ‘culture of the young’

The Pope has backed tattoos, saying they can help build communities. 

At a meeting with young people ahead of an upcoming Synod of Catholic bishops, Pope Francis told them “don’t be afraid of tattoos”. 

Answering a question from a Ukranian student priest about how to respond to present-day culture, the pope told his audience of around 300 young people that tattoos were not necessarily a bad thing. 

He mentioned cultural examples where tattoos have been a symbol of religious faith, such as in Eritrea, where it used to be common for Christian girls to have a tattoo of a cross on their foreheads as a symbol of beauty. 

He said that while in some cases the number of tattoos were “exaggerated”, they could also be a symbol of faith. 

“The Eritreans for years made the cross here [indicating the forehead]. Also today we see them. The cross was tattooed. Yes, they are exaggerations, but today I see some,” he said. 

He added that young priests could use them to connect with the people they were trying to reach out to, because the tattoos often communicated information about the person. 

A tattoo can become a talking point and a way for the priest to find out more about an individual, he said, and to connect with “the culture of the young”. 

He said: “Tattoos often signify membership in a community. ‘You, young man, that you’re tattooed like that, what are you looking for? In this tattoo, which community membership are you expressing?’

“It’s important not to be scared. With young people one should never be scared! Never! Because always, even behind the things that are not so good, there is something that will bring us to some truth.” 

It seems we are surrounded by a culture that, if on the one hand it idolizes youth, trying to prevent it from passing by, on the other it excludes many young people from being active agentsPope Francis

Christians are divided on whether tattoos are acceptable, and there is no clear-cut teaching on the topic. 

The Bible only includes one possible mention of tattoos, in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, which includes the command: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you”. 

Some Christians have interpreted this as forbidding the use of modern tattoos, while others argue that the verse is not binding upon believers because it was only relevant to the cultural context of the day, and appears alongside other commands which are no longer followed, including for men not to shave the edges of their beards or cut the hair on the sides of their heads. 

The New Testament does not contain any explicit mention of tattoos, though some have linked them with the Mark of the Beast mentioned in the book of Revelation. 

The Pope’s comments, which were originally reported by the website Church Pop, were made ahead of the Synod, which will be focused around the topic Young People, Faith and the Discernment of Vocation.

In response to questions from other attendees the Pope condemned Catholics who pay for prostitutes and said the practice was a “crime against humanity”. 

He asked forgiveness for all Catholics who participated in these “criminal acts”.

In his opening address to the group, he said young people “must be taken seriously” and are often “marginalized from ordinary public life”. 

“It seems we are surrounded by a culture that, if on the one hand it idolizes youth, trying to prevent it from passing by, on the other it excludes many young people from being active agents,” he said. 

Is Getting A Tattoo A Sin? The Church Stand!

Is Getting A Tattoo A Sin? The Church Stand!

Q. Three of my friends and I all turn 18 in the same month. We have been planning to celebrate by getting tattoos. My mother says getting a tattoo is a sin. Is that what the church teaches?

A. Are tattoos a sin? Perhaps the answer to this question is not as straightforward as we would like it to be. I think the best thing I can do is to offer some insights from Scripture and Catholic teaching to help you come to a good decision.

In the Old Testament we read from the Book of Leviticus the straightforward command, “ … do not tattoo yourselves” (19:28). The first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians explains that “ … your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit … ” (6:19). And the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended …, mutilations, … performed on innocent persons are against the moral law” (#2297).

So what does this all mean in regards to tattoos? First, I don’t think it means that tattoos are “intrinsically evil.” What I mean is that it would be an error to say that every tattoo in every circumstance is always wrong. Some cultures, for example, have a marking on the forehead to indicate ones marital status. Many Ethiopian Christians have the custom of tattooing a cross on their forehead to express their Christian faith. And we only need to look through the history books to see the many ways in which tattoos have been a part of many other cultures.

Culture, I believe, is one important aspect to look at when discussing the morality of tattoos. One key point is that in many of these cultural examples, tattoos are not only socially accepted, they are also often socially expected. That, of course, is not the case in the many countries. So what about getting a tattoo in your country and in your culture? Allow me to offer three considerations.

First, your body was made by God and is beautiful just as it is. To add an additional permanent marking to your body is not necessary. Some would even call it a mutilation. Doing this will not add to your bodies natural beauty. And since it is not a required part of our culture, there is no good reason to pursue one. Remember, your body truly is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We should, therefore, treat our body as we would God’s church. God has already designed and decorated this “church” in such a way that it really does not need an additional permanent alteration.

Second, if you were to decide to get a tattoo anyway, please avoid the following: Diabolical images, ugly images, shocking images, images pertaining to horoscopes, and simply put, any image contrary to the Christian faith. Any image like this would surely fall into the category of sin.

Third, make sure you are not acting out of peer pressure. Sometimes we can do things simply because our friends are doing it and we want to fit in. This is never a good reason. If our friends are real friends they will not pressure us into decisions like this nor will they look down on us if we choose not to “go with the flow.” Make sure your choice is not made out of pressure from others.

I hope that helps. If you are still confused about getting a tattoo I at least suggest you spend more time thinking and praying about it. I’m sure that if you are fully open to the will of God, He will lead you in the right direction and help you to make the right decision.



Tattoos, Sex: Pope Francis’ Message To Youths

Tattoos, Sex: Pope Francis’ Message To Youths

 

Pope Francis may be the most coolest Pontiff ever, judging by his latest message to youths.
The head of the Roman Catholic church showed how different he really is while speaking to 300 youths on March 19, 2018, in preparation for October’s Synod of Bishops.

Pope Francis had an intimate session that gave him the opportunity to hear what the young adults think about the church and life in general. The meeting, which held in Rome, lasted for four hours.

Pope Francis on Tattoos

During the gathering, America Magazine reports that Yulian Vendzilovych, a seminarian at Holy Spirit Seminary in Lviv, asked about tattoos.

He specifically asked the pope what a young priest should do about tattoos which many believe “expresses true beauty.”

“Don’t be afraid of tattoos,” the Pope replied. “Of course, there can be exaggerations.” But a tattoo “is a sign of belonging.”

He recommended that young priests ask questions about the tattoos which would initiate a conversation about priorities, values, belonging, “and then you can approach the culture of the young.”

Pope Francis on sex

The Pontiff got a chance to talk about sex when Blessing Okoedion, from Nigeria, asked him about the church’s stance on prostitution.

“I ask myself, and I ask you: Is the male chauvinistic church able to truthfully ask itself about this high demand by clients?” she said.

“Prostitution is a serious problem,” that is based on a widespread mentality that “women are to be exploited.” This is why the Pope asked young people to “battle against this.”

“One who goes to a prostitute is a criminal, a criminal. This is not making love. This is torturing a woman. Let’s not confuse the terms. This is criminal,” he said.

Pope Francis also offered an apology to Okoedion, who escaped from prostitution. He said, “I want to take advantage of this moment, because you talked about baptized and Christians, to ask your forgiveness, from society and all the Catholics who do this criminal act.”

Pope Francis’ message to youth

The Pope got an earful from others who asked the church to do better with sexuality, same-sex attraction, the role of women, better catechesis and support in fighting the “culture of relativism.”

Responding to everyone, Pope Francis called the youth the ones to help the church fight “the logic of ‘it’s always been done this way,’” which he described as “a poison, a sweet poison that tranquilizes the heart and leaves you anesthetized so you can’t walk.”

Urging everyone to “keep an eye on the roots” of the church, he urged the young adults to find creative ways to use the Gospel to deal with modern issues.