Can a Catholic Bear a Tattoo?

The Catholic Morality of Tattooing

In the Old Testament, the Chosen people are encouraged not to make any cutting in the flesh. As such, body art like tattooing and body piercing is not inspired by God.

In some Catholic cultures, bearing a tattoo represents a certain achievement or material status. Ethiopian Christians tattoo themselves on the forehead. Samoa Christians tattoo the eldest son or daughter of a family to signify his/ her status in the family. In Western Catholic culture, earrings and makeup are seen to be fashionable and acceptable. However, there are still some extreme and unjustified tattoos in some cultures.

What you should know about Catholic tattooing:

  • A tattoo of a devil or a Satanic symbol is not common in Catholic tattooing.
  • A tattoo if self-hatred or self-rejection is a hideous fashion. The human body created by God is not to bear a sin or self-disfigurement.
  • An act of tattooing risks some health problems. There are a lot of health issues caused by body art of tattooing. Reports have shown that infections and lasting harm come along with the pride of a tattoo. A used tattoo tool can transmit infectious diseases like hepatitis of HIV.
  • Your desire to get a tattoo may shock people. Some people tattoo the plight of poor people, or protests against terrible exploitations or crimes. This is seen as a good thing, while it can be appropriate to arouse complacency. People will value your tattoo according to the nature and the size of it.
  • Some tattoo themselves to draw attention. It is the vanity in your heart. Desires to show off may arouse doubts and disbeliefs among people around you.

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