Vatican City, Nov 17, 2011 / 10:06 am
The Vatican will take legal action against Italian clothing company Benetton to prevent the circulation of an ad featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing a Muslim imam.
The move on Nov. 17 comes a day after Benetton hastily withdrew the image from a new advertising campaign following protests from both religions.
“The Secretariat of State has authorized its lawyers to initiate actions, in Italy and elsewhere, to prevent the circulation, via the mass media and in other ways, of a photomontage used in a Benetton advertising campaign in which the Holy Father appears in a way considered to be harmful, not only to the dignity of the Pope and the Catholic Church, but also to the sensibility of believers,” read the Vatican's Nov. 17 statement.
The image was used as part of a new advertising campaign by Benetton titled “UNHATE” which was launched yesterday at a press conference in Paris. It was immediately followed by the unveiling of a new poster campaign at various locations around the globe.