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article imageGod carrying an assault rifle condemned by Vatican

By Karen Graham     Jan 6, 2016 in World
Paris - The Vatican's Osservatore Romano has condemned French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo for portraying God as an assassin in its commemorative edition cover marking the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on its offices.
Call it art, if you want, or opinion, but one thing is for sure, the cover drawing by managing editor Laurent Sourisseau, also known as Riss, has created a huge cloud of steam coming out of some collars, especially at the Vatican.
The special Charlie Hebdo issue marks one year, to the day, that jihadists gunned down 12 staffers at the magazine's offices because of drawings lampooning the Prophet Mohammad. The cover features God, smeared with blood and carrying what appears to be an assault rifle. The accompanying text reads: "One year on: The assassin is still out there.”
One million copies were printed, far above the usual 80,000 to 100,000 copies, and they are selling like the proverbial stack of hotcakes, perhaps because of the outrageous numbers of Parisians grabbing up the issues, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican-based newspaper, retorted with a scathing commentary condemning the cover.
In a translation published by CNN, the editorial reads: "Behind the deceitful flag of an uncompromising secularism, the French magazine once again forgets what religious leaders of different beliefs have been repeating for a long time: to reject violence in the name of religion. Using God to justify hatred is an authentic blasphemy, as Pope Francis repeatedly said."
In an interview with CNN, Laurent Sourisseau stood by his caricature, saying it was just a symbolic figure of God. He explained, "To us, it's the very idea of God that may have killed our friends a year ago. So we wanted to widen our vision of things. Faith is not always peaceful. Maybe we should learn to live with a little less of God."
Sourisseau also points out another important thing to remember about the caricature. "No, this is not Mohammad. It's above him. It's the God of all those who have faith."
 Tout est pardonné  (all is forgiven).
"Tout est pardonné" (all is forgiven).
Charlie Hebdo
After the January 7, 2015, attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices, a special issue was released showing a caricature of the prophet Muhammad holding a "Je Suis Charlie" sign below the headline "Tout est pardonné" (all is forgiven). That issue sold five million copies, reports Artnet News.
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