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Benetton settles Vatican lawsuit over manipulated image of Pope

Catholic World News - May 15, 2012

The Benetton Group has issued an apology to the Holy See for using the image of Pope Benedict XVI in a provocative ad campaign, and is making a donation to a Catholic charity as a goodwill gesture.

Last year Benetton released an ad in which an image of the Pope had been manipulated to make it appear that he was kissing Sheik Ahmad al Tayyib, the head of the Al Azhar University. (The Muslim leader, a key figure in Sunni Islamic thought, had broken off talks with the Holy See earlier in the year.) The ad, which was part of Benetton’s “unhate” campaign, drew an angry reaction from the Vatican and eventually a lawsuit.

The Vatican press office announced on May 15 that Benetton had issued a statement “reaffirming its 'regret for having offended His Holiness Benedict XVI and believers” and promising that the image of the Pope would not be used again. Benetton had also made a contribution to “one of the Church’s charitable activities,” the press office announced, without providing further details. Benetton’s actions represent a settlement of the Vatican’s legal case.

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  • Posted by: normnuke - May. 15, 2012 7:37 PM ET USA

    The Benetton Group has a long history of sleazy ad campaigns which intentionally attmpt to besmirch the Church for momentary commericial benefit to themselves. Doesn't say much (good) about the people who buy their stuff. We'll have to wait and see how long their contrition lasts.

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