Poland’s Roman Catholics expressed outrage on Thursday after a magazine published a picture of the much-revered icon of the Black Madonna with pop icon Madonna’s face transposed on to it.
"We are shocked to see, yet again, the miraculous icon of the mother of God used in a [profane] way for advertising and business purposes," said Paulinian monks at Jasna Gora monastery in the southern city of Czestochowa, who are custodians of the icon that Poles believe was painted by St Luke the Evangelist.
Pop magazine Machina published a photograph of the sacred icon, with pop idol Madonna’s face transposed over the face of the Virgin and one of the singer’s children in the place of the baby Jesus, on the cover of the issue that hit the newsstands on Thursday after a three-year publishing hiatus.
"The icon, along with the crucifix and the Bible, are key symbols of faith for all Christians," the monks said in a statement published on their website.
"Current events have shown us where abuse of religious images and symbols can lead," the statement said, referring indirectly to the wave of protests that have hit the Muslim world since the publication of caricatures of the prophet Muhammad in several European newspapers.
Ultra-Catholic daily newspaper Nasz Dziennik slammed Machina’s cover photo as "another act of profanation of sacred symbols", and Poland’s Tolerancja.pl website has received scores of messages of protest.
Machina’s publisher, Piotr Metz, said he was "surprised" by the outrage sparked by the magazine’s cover and issued a statement saying the magazine did "not intend to offend anyone’s religious feelings". [Source]
"Current events have shown us where abuse of religious images and symbols can lead," – well that statement is rather odd considering that there won’t be any type of similar reaction. No Catholic youths killing imams or priests with portfolio of false images looking to incite violence. Though there might be some Rosaries raised in anger.
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