Vatican blows a gasket over picture of pope kissing Muslim leader

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Italian clothing company Benetton has withdrawn a publicity shot of the pope kissing a Muslim religious leader following a Vatican backlash.

A digitally manipulated picture showed Benedict XVI locking lips with Mohammed Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand sheikh of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, as part of an advertising campaign that…featured unlikely combinations of religious and political figureheads kissing…

The offending poster of the pope and Tayeb briefly appeared in Rome, but the Vatican reaction was swift. Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi criticised the company for exploiting the pope’s image, calling it completely unacceptable…

Benetton apologised, saying it was sorry the picture “had so hurt the sensibilities of the faithful“.

Har. Photoshop rules!