Publisher apologizes over image of Christ

Says Sacred Heart image featuring beer can and cigarette was an editorial oversight

March 5, 2012
A century-old Catholic magazine in Gujarat has apologized for publishing an image of the Sacred Heart Jesus holding a can of beer and a cigarette. Father Jerry Sequeira, a trustee of GSP, which publishes the Guarati language magazine Pawan Hruday Doot, (Messenger of the Sacred Heart), said the offensive image was used inadvertently. The Jesuit priest told today that the publishers felt “greatly hurt” after the image appeared in the monthly magazine’s February issue. “The designer put [in] the wrong picture of Christ, which went unnoticed by the editorial staff,” he said. Fr Sequeira said he did not want to name the designer, who he said had never made such a mistake in the past. “It is not a deliberate act on the part of anyone associated with the publishing of the magazine.” He acknowledged, however, that the mishap had hurt the Catholic community in Gujarat but added that he would not make any further comment on the matter since it is now the subject of a court case. Police in Anand, where the company is based, have registered a case after a Catholic subscriber, Manoj Macwan, said the image had offended his religious sentiments. Fr Sequeira said the publishers have already issued an apology. GSP, a Jesuit publishing house, produces books on spirituality and religious matters for Catholics in Gujarat and those working with various Jesuit organizations. The magazine celebrated its centenary last year, with the postal department issuing a postal stamp to commemorate the event.
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