Abomination: The Vatican frowns at demeaning 'kissing' Pope Benedict XVI picture by Benetton

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Abominable Pictures

Fashion giant Benetton has caused controversy once again doing the imaginable- pairing World political and religious leaders engaging in heated romantic kiss.

The Vatican has lashed out at one of the photofix,  a  controversial ad campaign by the fashion giant  pairinng long-time public rivals sharing a kiss of love and appreciation.

Pope Benedict XVI and Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, Imam at the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, the only non-politicians featured in the controversial “Unhate” campaign by the clothing company, Benetton.

The images predictably has cause uproar across the world drawing angers from both Christians and Muslims. and harsh reaction The Vatican already has reacted harshly, promptly squaring up to Benetton to take high profile legal action.

“This is a grave lack of respect for the Pope, an offence against the sentiments of the faithful and a clear example of how advertising can violate elementary rules of respect for people in order to attract attention through provocation,”Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

The threat to sue over the ad resulted in the removal of the picture from both the campaign’s website and street banners. The abominable pictures however are widely available on the internet.

The Ad Age company, which created the campaign images  for Benetton, chose some of the most improbable personalities for their pictures. Barack Obama is featured twice – with Chinese leader Hu Jintao and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas passionately kiss in another picture. Yet another shows the leaders of the two Koreas, Lee Myung-bak and Kim Jong-il.

Neither Ad Age nor Benetton said they had a ready replacement for the now-missing Pope pic. Who could the replacing  kissers be? Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Saakashvili? John McCain and Fidel Castro? Tony Blair and Muammar Gaddafi? …

Speculations are currently running. Oh!, the last one would be too gross, but on the other hand it would require less photoshopping, since the two did hug in the times when the still-living Libyan leader was welcomed in the UK as a new business and political allies before his extermination.