Vatican to take action against 'Pope kissing Imam' ad

Benetton ad with Pope-Imam
Vatican City, Nov 18: The Vatican has declared that it will take legal action against the advertisement which appeared in Benetton clothing stores, newspapers, internet and magazines. The campaign featured Pope Benedict XVI and Egyptian Imam kissing each other on their mouth.

The publicity campaign launched on Wednesday portrayed a large image of the pope and Egypt's Grand Sheikh of the Al-Azhar Mosque Mohammad Ahmed Al Tayeb kissing each other hung from a bridge, which was later removed.

Vatican secretary of state, Tarcisio Bertone "is examining the steps that may be taken with the competent authorities in order to guarantee adequate protection for the figure of the Holy Father", said Fr Federico Lombardi, director of SJ Holy See Press Office.

An Italy-based company, Ponzano had said that its "Unhate" campaign used "symbolic images of reconciliation - with a touch of ironic hope and constructive provocation - to stimulate reflection on how politics, faith and ideas, even when they are divergent and mutually opposed, must still lead to dialogue and mediation."

"This is a grave lack of respect for the pope, an offence against the sentiments of the faithful and a clear example of how advertising can violate elementary rules of respect for people in order to attract attention through provocation," said Lombardi.

Meanwhile, this malicious campaign has even targeted other leaders and there are kissing images of leaders including US president Barack Obama and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Obama and China's President Hu Jintao.

OneIndia News

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