VATICAN CITY â€“ International clothing retailer Benetton pulled a provocative ad featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing a Muslim cleric on Wednesday after the Vatican threatened legal action to protect the pope's image.
The campaign features digitally altered photos of world leaders kissing each other on the mouth, including President Obama with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
John Calvin wrote: Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Pontiff Antichrist, but those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself after whom we speak and whose language we adopt. I shall briefly show that Paul's words in 2 Thessalonians 2 are not capable of any other interpretation than that which implies them to the Papacy.
Benetton is just playing the shock game, as usual â€” â€śThe only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked aboutâ€ť â€” Oscar Wilde.
But one thing the papacy hates, however, is lack of reverence for papa, the â€śVicar of Christâ€ť (though history has many examples of Catholic rulers humiliating a pope). To them, it is as if Christ Himself was portrayed thusly.
However detestable popery is, we should curb our enthusiasm here, for it distracts from the real problem with the papacy, its false theology, & plays right into what Benetton wants â€” publicity. They know religious people have thin skin, and take advantage of it.
I wonder if they'll try this with the Dolly Llama? Probably not; that would hit too close to home (Buddhism being fashionable among the Jet Set).
"after the Vatican threatened legal action to protect the pope's image."
I can never understand why the papal antichrist gets all upset about worldly affairs such as this ad. Satan is in charge of the mammon industry and also in charge at the Vatican. So why are they constantly at loggerheads with each other?
Perhaps Benetton should have produced an ad with the papal antichrist kissing Satan. Surely the Vatican couldn't have complained about that?