From linda03.wordpress.com. Tweak image for more.
by Anura Guruge
Yesterday, shortly after I caught it, serendipitously, on CNN TV news at 5:59pm, I posted the image of Benetton’s fake pope ad — to further Benetton’s latest unhate campaign. Already by then, Benetton had agreed to withdraw the controversial ad — though some were even then arguing in the media that ‘kiss of peace‘ is an established Christian tradition emanating from St. Paul’s (#0) exhortation in Romans 16:16 that ‘Christians greet each other with a holy kiss‘, and that this ad was per that motif.
This morning the Vatican let it be known that they are seeking a legal injunction against Benetton’s — who has an impressive track record of gaining enormous amounts of FREE worldwide publicity by using SHOCK ADs that they then agree to withdraw. To be fair it is very clever and part of a neat marketing strategy.
From Waleg.com. Click to read.
The Secretariat of State, led by my #2 papabile Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., has been tasked with trying to pursue this legal challenge. The official statement is as follows: ‘The Secretariat of State has authorised 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‘. In addition, it appears that the Vatican is also investigating: ‘The Secretariat of State 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‘. [My emphasis.]
Let me start with that last statement. That bothers me because of the ambiguous use of the Papal ‘we’ so to speak. ‘The Holy Father’ — current pope, all popes or even the notion of the pope? Does this mean that I will no longer be allowed to use Caravaggio’s depiction of St. Peter (#1) being manhandled?
I do not know what the laws are about this type of thing in Italy. For a start, it is very clear that the white-haired person in the picture is NOT Benedict XVI (#266). His skin is that of a younger man, devoid of as many liver spots. The ears are different (and as anybody who has applied for a U.S. Green Card or citizenship will tell you, the U.S. attests that one’s right ear is as unique as one’s fingerprints, which is why they take a picture of it) and the hair is not the same. Plus, nowhere in the ad does it mention ‘Benedict XVI’ or ‘pope’. So the Vatican really is objecting to the IMAGE of the pope being used.
So does this mean that we will no longer be able to have movies or documentaries in which actors depict the pope? No more pope cartoons or pope jokes? [Did you know that there is a Web site: http://popejokes.com/?]
Wasn’t this the same Vatican that just a week ago criticized Britain for its censure of Tintin?
I could be wrong, given that I still have problems with its full scope, but I have to think that this is probably protected in the U.S.A. by the First Amendment. I know we have some practicing lawyers, from some large, prestigious international law firms, that visit us on a regular basis. Maybe one of them could enlighten me and I can pass it on.
I checked to see whether my President, the most esteemed Mr. Obama, had instructed the White House lawyer to take Benetton to task. I have yet to find that, and again I think that the laws and customs in the US are different — and the satires on Saturday Night Live (SNL) come to mind. To be honest, when I first saw an image of my President kissing the Chinese leaders it didn’t cross my mind that it was a PhotoShop! I just assumed that it had happened during this week’s Asian Summit in Hawaii. I also thought that the kiss involving the blessed Mrs. Angela Merkel was enviably sexy. But, that is me.
I would have to assume Benetton knew what they were doing. They are a very savvy bunch. Plus, they have already agreed to take down the pope-related images. So lets wait and see. But, IF they stop me using