Catholics in Austria line up for free tattoos

“In God’s hands” were some of the tattoos etched during a free-of-charge session that was held at the weekend. The event was organized by Austria’s leading Catholic nuns’ and monks’ groups.

Christopher Paul Campbell is the director of Quo Vadis.

He also said that some churches frown upon tattoos and must “learn” to be “sexy” if they want to attract new members.

In Austria, the number of people who have left the Catholic Church has increased. It reached a record high of 91,000 last year.

Around half of the nine million residents in this Alpine EU member are Catholic.

Catholics line up for free tattoos in Austria scaled
The night before the session, the German tattoo artist, his needles, and everyone wanting to get tattooed were blessed in a mass © JOE KLAMAR / AFP

Quo Vadis reported that hundreds of believers wanted to attend the first tattoo session near Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

The lottery was used to allocate the slots.

The German tattooist, his needles, and all those who wanted tattoos were blessed at a mass the night before.

Crosses and fishes were among the intricate Christian themes available to believers.

Austrian Ursula Noe Nordberg wanted a small cross tattooed on her wrist.

The grandmother told AFP: “It’ll be a surprise for my family.” She added that the cross would remind her of her tattooed grandkids.

The initiative was not well received by everyone. Organizers claim they have received hate mail.

Body art can be considered satanic by some people, even though tattooing pilgrimage tributes or stigmata has been practiced for centuries. Even famous Austrians, such as Empress Sisi in the 19th century, were tattooed.

I heard the criticism that the church has been turned into a disco. I countered: “OK, then I am the DJ,” Father Sandesh Manuel.

The Franciscan monk who likes to wear a baseball hat and rap also got tattooed with the words: “Humanity, the greeting of Religion”.

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