The lamb has been considered for centuries as...

, par Estela Torres

Easter without a lamb, even the Church says yes
Marta Frigerio


The lamb has been considered for centuries as the symbol of sacrifice - in the Old and New Testaments - and is associated with the death and resurrection of Easter.

A tradition that has no theological basis, however, and which, on the contrary, is increasingly being challenged by Catholic hierarchies.

The position of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI also explained, on the occasion of the 2007 Easter celebrations, that the sacrifice of the paschal lamb should be read more deeply, because it was not the animal to be sacrificed, but the Son of God himself : "He himself was the expected Lamb, the true one", explained Ratzinger.

After this theological clarification, the same position was also accepted and shared by other members of the clergy : Michele Castoro, Archbishop of San Giovanni Rotondo, of the pages of Famiglia Cristiana recalled that Easter had nothing to do with the slaughter of lambs, puppies of a few weeks’ life slaughtered only to satisfy the throat of those who still believe they are the inevitable symbol of the Easter table.

"As a Church, we believe that man is not the master of creation, but only the guardian called to love, to care for the beauty and life of creation and to promote it in its various forms. In fact, even if man has received God’s permission to use them, he does not have to dominate them, never forgetting that the earth belongs to God," the Archbishop stressed.

Compassion for all life forms

The Church’s position therefore appears unequivocal : why continue to perpetrate an unnecessary massacre that meets with the joy of celebrating life ?

Even the figures show how much lamb consumption - a period not to be missed for Easter - is falling sharply : according to Istat data, more than 5 million lambs were slaughtered in 2009, compared to only 2.2 million in 2015. A decrease of more than 55%, which indicates a clear reversal in Italian consumption.