The Vatican has vowed to take legal action against the Italian fashion chain Benetton in retaliation for an advertising campaign that features an image of the Pope kissing an Egyptian imam.
Lawyers acting for the Vatican were told to "take the proper legal measures" to stop any use of the doctored photo, despite an announcement made by Benetton on Wednesday saying it would pull the image from its campaign.
A spokesperson for the Vatican said the picture is "damaging to not only to dignity of the pope and the Catholic Church but also to the feelings of believers", but it is unclear on what grounds the Vatican is proposing to sue.
Other adverts in the campaign feature France's Nicolas Sarkozy kissing Germany's Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama kissing the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez – world leaders who do not share the closest of friendships.
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