Denver Newsroom, May 19, 2023 / 16:00 pm
A Vatican-produced postage stamp to commemorate the upcoming World Youth Day 2023 in Portugal has been withdrawn after criticism over its use of a mid-20th-century monument that is controversial in some Portuguese circles.
The stamp, created by the Vatican Philatelic Service and issued on May 16, shows Pope Francis leading a group of children up the Monument to Discoveries. The Lisbon monument was built in 1960 for the 500th anniversary of the death of the Portuguese explorer Henry the Navigator.
In the stamp’s design, Pope Francis takes the place of Henry the Navigator on the prow of the ship. It aimed to present “a ship that guides young people and the Church towards the future.”
The Governorate of the Vatican City State withdrew it after the design drew negative comments because it “recalls a colonial past very distant from Pope Francis’ message of universal fraternity,” according to Vatican News.