Tomorrow is World Circus Day and, in lieu of a Clown Mass, the Vatican is offering something a little more serious.
The rights of circus and carnival workers must be protected and circus animals must be properly cared for and treated ethically, said a top Vatican official.
Archbishop Antonio Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, made the remarks in a message marking World Circus Day, celebrated April 16.
“The church recognizes the social, cultural, and educational value of circuses,” which bring children and families together, spark people’s imagination and foster creativity, he said in a message released April 15.
Carnivals and circuses offer special opportunities for people to break out of their shell, be awed by the beauty of the shows and the skills of the artists and acrobats, and be filled with “hope that brings inner peace even amid the suffering, worries, and frustrations in life,” he wrote.
Archbishop Veglio said he hoped that World Circus Day would remind governments of “their duty to safeguard the rights of circus workers, so that they, too, may feel they are a full-fledged part of society.”