In response to the new Charlie Hebdo cover art, the Vatican says all faiths must be respected.
L’Osservatore Romano, the newspaper run by the Vatican that is published on Wednesdays, criticized Charlie Hebdo, the French weekly regarding faith. The criticism was directed at the latest front page printed by the magazine, which portrayed a God carrying a Kalashnikov and soaked in blood.
The Charlie Hebdo cover in question commemorates the attacks which took place in 2015 when Islamic militants slaughtered 12 people when they assaulted the magazine's Paris newsroom. The headline over the blood soaked God picture says that the assassin continues to be on the run even after a year. The event led to a worldwide debate on freedom of speech and religious extremism.
The Vatican, through its daily newspaper, castigated the decision taken by Charlie Hebdo with an editorial named “Manipulated Faith.” The article reminded its readers that the French publishing has again forgotten what religious leaders of every faith continue to repeat for a long time: violence justified through the mention of religion must be rejected. The writer of the L’Osservatore Romano piece has accused Charlie Hebdo of hiding behind the false flag of uncompromising secularism.
The Vatican goes further and says that the move by Charlie Hebdo lays bare the painful paradox suffered by a world increasingly sensitive to show political correctness. These displays of political correctness can go to ridiculous extent, but will not respect or recognize a believer's faith in a God, independent of religion.
Charlie Hebdo's latest issue is in stark contrast with the edition published just after the attack, the caricature conveying the image of a crying Muhammad and the headline “All is forgiven.” Two gun toting Muslim fundamentalists pushed inside the offices of the magazine on January 7, 2015 and started the attack. The ownership of this violent action was claimed by al-Qaida Yemen branch. Post attack, the Pope said that freedom of expression can be regarded as one of the fundamental human rights. The Pope also stressed that killing in God's name is not acceptable by any means. The Pope, however, expressed his opinion when he said that it is impossible to accept killing by giving the excuse of God.
The Pope took umbrage at the anti-religious stance taken by Charlie Hebdo. He reminded that a person cannot provoke, insult a person's faith or make fun of their beliefs. The Vatican later published a statement which said that the comments made by Pope Francis were not intended to justify the Hebdo attacks.