A Catholic centre in Vienna is offering a free walk-in Christian tattoo service in a bid to shake the “prohibiting and rejecting” view of body art from the Church.
Guests will be invited to have a Christian motif inked by religious tattoo artist Silas Becks – who has participated in a number of walk-in Christian tattoo campaigns.
Quo vadis? Hopes the event will encourage Christians to express their faith through their body art.
Prior to the tattoo campaign, the Catholic group will host a tattoo-themed service “for colourful people” at St Rupert’s Church, followed by a talk on the controversy of tattoos within the Christian faith.
The morality of tattoos has been debated across the Church with some arguing that Levitical law prohibits them. Others argue that this is Old Testament law that no longer applies to Christians as those living under the new covenant.
Christopher Paul Campbell, head of Quo Vadis?, says the campaign wants to “take seriously” the signs people give themselves.
“Perceiving the stories behind the tattoos, finding faith in all things. We want to help shape a Catholic perspective on tattooing that is not based on prohibition and rejection, but on friendliness and equality.
Therefore we see tattooing in connection with the deep spirituality of the Christian religion.”
Becks and Campbell founded the Catholic Educational Association of Tattoo Artists: "Societas indelebilis" with a goal to demystify tattoos and share their Christian heritage.
Becks says Christians in the Middle ages wore tattoos, pilgrims got tattoos in Jerusalem and Coptic Christians place a cross on their right wrist today.