Tattooing and Catholicism


Hello all.

I have recently (June '08) begun attending Mass as I am married to a Catholic and have a young daughter who was in need of baptism.

Somewhere along the line of attending the pre-baptism classes I re-discovered faith I’d long forgotten about and am now attending our parish RCIA with the hope of being confirmed at the Easter Vigil.

I’m really enjoying the trip so far, but the one thing that troubles me a little is my occupation, I’m a tattoo artist.

From the research I’ve done so far I know that large scale tattooing is probably inadvisable, but also that the Church has no official doctrines on tattooing. I know of the part of the bible that speaks of not marking that which was made in God’s image. But aside from this I see no other restrictions.

Thus far I’ve not been asked my occupation, and my parish seems pretty liberal, but I am so happy in my new found faith that I fear being cast out if anyone finds out what I do!

All advice gratefully received


Nothing wrong with tattoos or giving them!


here is some more info if you care to read it…


You have to make a living somehow. :rolleyes: If you’re a tattoo artist and you’re good at it (and you’re getting payed for it :wink: ) keep doing it! :smiley: I’m still contemplating on getting a tattoo when I’m of age… but I think too much of the pain :eek: and what it’ll look like when I old. :frowning:

But if it’s really bugging you:

A friend of mine wants to be a tattoo artist. His grandmother did not like it one bit until he told her to just think of it as “decorating your temple” rather than whatever Leviticus said. :o

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood


Thanks, thats very nice of you, and yes, I am at the top of my trade quality speaking.

I work in a very reputable shop in a pretty conservative part of England, and we have always refused any requests for tattoos that we consider racist etc.

I’m sure it’ll all work out.:slight_smile:


England?! Awesome! :love: I’ve always wanted to go to England. :heart:

Ironically Yours.


Me too! If we come to visit and mention CAF could we get a discount? :smiley:



The passage in Leviticus is specifically about the Pagan practice of cutting markings into the flesh on behalf of the dead in Pagan ceremonies, and thus was condemned by God. But ordinary tatooing is not an exclusively Pagan practice, so it’s ok. But I think it would be wrong to give someone a sexually suggestive tattoo, an anti-Catholic or generally anti-Christian tatoo, or Pagan symbols as a tatoo.

Just my advise.

I’m sorry to hear that your local parish church is liberal (in dissent from Rome), perhaps you can reform it. :slight_smile:


:thumbsup: I look forward to your visit!

I am a custom artist and as such I can pick and choose the kind of work I do. I would refuse any work of a questionable moral or religious nature. Although I do do fifties style pin-ups sometimes which are a little suggestive!

One thing I have noticed though, It seems that religious tattoos have become quite popular among the non-religious lately. An example; my colleague has done extensive tattooing on one of her clients of catholic imagery: Our Lady, rosaries, Sacred Heart etc. etc. The other day he said ‘I’m not even remotely religious so I don’t know why I get this stuff done!’

I don’t really understand that. But I can’t really question all my customers motives for their designs!

Once, several years ago, I actually tattooed a priest! He had a Holy Spirit dove design. He said there would be an uproar if his parish found out!

Perhaps liberal was a bad choice of wording. I think my priest is very, very good and I think he prefers using a gentle approach to nurture his parishioners spirituality,rather than scaring folk off with admonishments!

From what I’ve heard my parish was in quite a state of disarray before he took over, he seems to have turned it around all for the good.



I don’t like tattoos at all, but it’s just my opinion. My nephew who is one of the nicest guys I know has a bunch of tattoos, and they don’t change my opinion of him one bit.

You sound like a wonderful man and I’d be proud to call you my friend. I’ll say some extra prayers for you at Mass.

(I can’t help but think though, when these tattooed folks get old and their skin loses its elasticity, the nice fresh tattoos they have are going to look saggy and faded).


Tattoos are safe, I have a few. I have a customised Ichthys actually.

Where abouts in England are you? The guy I go to is in Exeter. I say go to, but I’ve been threatened with a withdrawal of financial privileges from my parents if I get any more done, lol.


I have always wanted to get this tattoo. I am guessing it would be quite expensive.

Explore J Json


Just for the record I am female, of course the majority of tattoo artists are Male so I can see why you’d think that, many thanks for your kind words.

Indeed you are quite right, tattoos will look fairly grim in old age. But I’m thinking since I don’t run about in a bikini now, I probably won’t in my seventies (assuming I am lucky enough to get there!) either. It doesn’t worry me too much. Over time tattoos become like birthmarks or scars, you don’t really notice they are there after a while.


I work out of Guildford in Surrey. :slight_smile:

That would be such a beautiful tattoo, done by the right artist. If you do decide to get it done one day, make sure you do plenty of research on artists first. And yes it would set you back a few pence, lol. I think tattoo artists in USA charge quite a bit more than we do, but about $400 might cover it!


Here’s the image that I want to get as a tatoo:

In honour of the Immaculate Heart. I thought about getting a Chi-Rho Monogramme, but decided this one was much more beautiful.:thumbsup:


I proudly wear a tattoo of my own design over my heart.


i have quite a few tattoos the latest is one of Mary covering my forearm as a memorial tattoo.

there’s nothing wrong with tattoos, the passage in Leviticus is not binding on Christians at all.

as for pagan symbols, most are interchangeable with christian ones. I have the triple spiral on my forearm it’s a real old celtic symbol for thier triple god (this i guess is why the irish converted en masse with little to no problem, the Trinity fits quite nicely into thier old belief system, but of course less bloody and scary). but later this symbol was adopted by the irish monks for thier beautifully adorned books to mean the Trinity and that’s how i look at the tattoo, to me it is a good representation of the trinity.


Road trip to England for Tats!

I have piercings, but no tattoos.

Personally, I wouldn’t give a satanic type tattoo, or anti Christ…


I want a tatoo of the Sacred Heart. Or of the Majestic Christ. Or Immaculate Heart. Or the Holy Cross. Or… wow. I want a lot of tattoos.

Of course, I would never splatter my entire body with tatoos, I just want 1 to 3. Religious tatoos are the most beautiful, and coolest.


I would LOVE a Sacred Heart tattoo over my own heart someday. I already have three tattoos and want more.

sigh So many tattoos, so little money. . . :stuck_out_tongue:

closed #20

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