Was I glad to read these lines from Reuters: “The Vatican said on Thursday it would take legal action to stop the distribution of a photo montage in an advertisement by the Italian fashion firm Benetton showing Pope Benedict kissing an imam on the mouth.” Well done Vatican. Its time to take action.
The photo montage by Benetton shows various leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI, kissing other leaders. This is part of Benetton’s new “UNHATE” campaign. The press release from Benetton states that its worldwide campaign invites leaders and citizens of the world to combat the “culture of hatred”.
If you ask me the Benetton marketing department deliberately wanted to create a ruckus. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that showing the Pope kissing an imam is going to cause hatred and anger rather than combat hatred. I hope that the Vatican sues Benetton for a ton of money. I am sure Benetton can afford to lose a few million dollars to a worthy cause. Also, since Benetton is clearly so intent on ending a “culture of hatred”, their money would show their willingness to truly apologise and UNHATE.
The Vatican can then donate the money to the US bishops’ conference to supply the funds that the bishops need for their program that aids the victims of human trafficking. The US Department of Health and Human Services has declined to renew funding for the program because the bishops’ program fails to provide a “full range of reproductive services”—that is, abortion and contraception—for the victims. It seems that the US, the land of the free, would rather support abortion than fight human trafficking.
What do you think?