Holy CowsYears ago, we published a report, Holy Cows, on the willingness of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to manipulate religious teachings to peddle its radical animal liberation agenda. Nothing has changed. Just this week, Sarah Withrow King—the director of PETA’s self-serving religious affiliate, Jesus People for Animals—penned an opinion piece that managed to somehow find a way to use the Pope as a vegan archetype.

The article, entitled “Go on vegan diet for Pope Francis,” claims that Pope Francis’ recent emphasis on environmental stewardship amounts to a papal endorsement of veganism. According to PETA, we should “honor Pope Francis’ dedication to the environment by choosing a healthy and humane vegan diet.”

But sources suggest that the real way to the Pontiff’s heart is meat—and lots of it. A review of the Vatican cookbook, a collection of Pope Francis’ favorite recipes published last year, summarizes his appetites: “Pope Francis eats like a fairly typical Argentinian: He loves a good steak, empanadas and dulce de leche.” (Argentines eat more beef per person than any other nation, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.)

In other words, dieting like the Pope means dairy and meat—not bovine liberation and lima beans.

This isn’t the first time PETA has distorted, and then exploited, the words of Pope Francis. Less than a month ago, PETA and its animal liberationist comrades jumped all over media reports of Pope Francis hinting that animals might go to heaven.

Animal lovers were delighted by the news, which validated hopes that their furry family members would join them in the afterlife.

But vegan radicals like PETA and HSUS were thrilled for a different reason. Both groups seized the news stories—which, incidentally, proved completely false—as opportunities to insert animal rights ideology into theology.

PETA’s eagerness to capitalize on the cultural reverence invoked by the Pope is despicable, and just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, PETA seems to only worship at the altars of hypocrisy and greed.