Shooting Ourselves in the FootCallous Clergy Corrupt Churches: Rev. Richard Ross of St. Bernard Catholic Church
A Shooting Ourselves in the Foot: The Sanitizing of Violence in Our Society Article from

Throughout the ages, we have accepted killing, violence, and violent behavior as just being a part of life - it's time we change!

[Also read Letter from PETA to Rev. Ross About His Fox Fur Farm and Tell the Rev. Richard Ross to Close His Fox Fur Farm.]

By Rev. Frank L. Hoffman,

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught us to live lovingly and compassionately, and how this kind of living blesses us. Note what we are told in Matthew 5:9...

9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons [children] of God.

Paul picks up on this concept and writes in Romans 8:19-22...

19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons [children] of God.

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope

21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

The unfortunate problem is that most clergy neither live nor teach these precepts. In fact, they often callously promote the continual corruption of creation and their congregations through their promotion of hunting, fishing, and the farming of animals. One of these people is the Rev. Richard Ross of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Joliet. This was first brought to light by PETA in the following article:

Sheep may safely graze, but foxes are out of luck at an abysmal fur farm in Joliet, Illinois, that's run by, of all people, a Catholic priest. PETA recently filed a complaint with law-enforcement authorities regarding the fox fur farm, which is operated by the Rev. Richard Ross of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Joliet. While the agencies promptly launched an investigation, they were unable to take action against Ross because the conditions on this farm, while appalling, are not illegal.



The foxes are confined to cramped, rusty wire cagesówith little protection from heat, rain, and snowóuntil the day they are slaughtered and skinned. Cages may contain up to seven foxes apiece, and one fox was caught on video spinning in circlesóa classic symptom of "zoochosis," or captivity-induced madness. As PETA researcher Dan Paden pointed out in a letter to Ross, even if such conditions do not violate Illinois law, they surely violate the church's instructions to have "a religious respect for the integrity of creation."


What kind of Christianólet alone a man of the clothówould treat God's creatures this way? The kind of man who would say (after his brotherówho is also a priestówas accused of molesting a young boy), "I don't have much sympathy for people who somehow couldn't stop whatever happened. I'll take all of these people who were abused, and I'll abuse them with a baseball bat."

After seeing how the Rev. Ross treats foxes, we believe him.

Posted by Alisa Mullins, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

To us, Richard Ross seems more like a priest of Satan that a priest of God. Unfortunately his hardness of heart is sure to rub off on his church and congregation, including the vulnerable children. The moral and Godly standards we are to live by are based mostly from our religious teachings, and from this article, it appears that Richard Ross is a stumbling block that is corrupting them.  Note what we are told of such people in Like 17:1-2...

1 And He said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come!

2 "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.


It's time we stop shooting ourselves in the foot by sanitizing violence in our churches and society. It's time we live like the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God we are called to be for the benefit of the whole of God's creation.

Go on to: CHANGING ATTITUDES: Why I Quit Hunting
Return to: Shooting Ourselves in the Foot