A Catholic priest in the San Francisco area has objected to a novelty shop’s sale of a prayer candle with President Barack Obama’s picture on it.
Fr. Tony La Torre of St. Philip the Apostle Church in Noe Valley has called for a boycott of the Just For Fun card and novelty shop, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The $15 candles show the president’s haloed head pasted over the body of St. Martin de Porres, the Peruvian-born friar who is one of the first black saints in the Americas. On the candle, the saint is holding a crucifix.
Fr. La Torre said the candle “mocks Jesus” and “depicts our beloved saints in a not so saintly way.”
"I am appalled that in such a family-oriented neighborhood, any retailer would be so bigoted and so hateful (as) to carry such merchandise just to 'make a buck,'” the priest wrote in the parish newsletter, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Robert Ramsey and David Eiland, the store’s owners, said they have sold more than 700 candles since the Christmas holiday.
"This is just fun stuff," Ramsey said.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the owners posted a copy of the priest’s newsletter in the store window right next to an Obama candle.
The controversy had reportedly sparked demand, with Ramsey saying he had another 72 candles on order.