Pope Francis gives his blessing to tattoos.
Asked about tattoos and other expressions of modern culture by a seminarian from Ukraine, the pope said that the problem is that some people exaggerate by covering their body with tattoos, but “the problem is the exaggeration, not the tattoos.”
Don’t be afraid of tattoos,” the pope responded, noting that for many years Eritrean Christians and others have gotten tattoos of the cross on their foreheads.
“Of course, there can be exaggerations,” the pope said, remarking that people who get too many tattoos cannot give blood because of a “danger of blood poisoning.”
A tattoo “is a sign of belonging,” Francis said, and offers an opportunity to strike up a conversation with young people about what matters to them “and then you can enter into the culture of the young.”
“But do not panic,” he said. “With young people you should never be frightened, never! Because always, even behind the not-so-good things, there is something that will get us to some truth.”
I'm pretty sure he wasn't giving his blessing to tattoos, but I think his point would have been better made if he said something like 'the tattoo is a symptom of a bigger problem, so when you see them, use your pastoral gifts to open conversation with the ultimate goal of healing the wound with Sacraments.'
I hope they don't ask him about Ouija boards!