Vegetarian Virgin Mary ad riles church
Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stage a protest in front of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.
BOSTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston on Tuesday demanded the removal of an animal rights group's billboard advertisement depicting the Virgin Mary cradling a lifeless chicken in her arms.
The ad by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals features the tagline "Go Vegetarian -- It's an Immaculate Conception," a reference to teachings about Mary's purity.
But the church said the billboard was "offensive at any time" and especially so during the Christmas season.
"Why any organization would seek to garner goodwill for itself and its message by promoting an ad campaign that is so offensive to a large number of people within the community is unclear," the archdiocese said in a statement.
"What is clear is that if PETA truly cares about ethical behavior, the billboard message should be taken down as soon as possible," it added.
PETA said it has no plans to take down the billboard in Boston.
PETA said a similar advertisement went up in Providence, Rhode Island, earlier this month but was quickly removed by the billboard's owner amid similar complaints from Catholics there.
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