Msgr. Charles Pope on the website of the Archdiocese of Washington: “Neither shall you tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD.”
“Sometimes I admit to feeling very old. I am only 50, but I find myself horrified by so many cultural trends. High on my list are the freakish (according to me) ‘body art’ trends which involve piercings that make me wince when I see them. Lips and noses, tongues, cheeks, eyebrows (and other body parts I cannot mention on a family blog) are disfigured by unattractive ‘hardware’ that interferes with their God-given purpose, and which also must be horrible breeding grounds for bacteria and infection. I wince when I see it.
Tattoos as well, once thought of as the implements of drunken sailors and tramps, have become the common fare of many people. They remain to me (apparently an old fogie at a mere 50), a sign of grave immaturity and make me question the person’s judgment. I also find them disfiguring and disturbing in that they cannot (until recently) be removed. What a terrible thing to disfigure one’s body permanently in a moment of poor judgement and youthful folly …”