TO THE EDITOR:
In browsing through the Rhode Island Catholic published 1 December, I was shocked and appalled by an advertisement for “Benedictus.”
Are you kidding? It’s incredulous that a diocesan newspaper would stoop to this level. I know the temptation is out there to capitalize on a name, place or event, but this is outrageous and casts poorly on the church and [Pope] Benedict XVI. Frankly, if [you’re] willing to go to this extreme can we expect to see Benetton ads to follow?
The only thing that I can think of that is more tasteless for the season is calling a Christmas tree a holiday tree. The difference is selling aftershave named after the pope reflects poorly on Roman Catholics and arbitrarily changing the long cherished Christmas tree to a Holiday [tree] is offensive to all Christians.
Let’s keep in mind what this holy day is all about and respect the celebration. It was Christmas long before it was a shopping frenzy and we had to be concerned about being “politically correct.”
Please screen your advertisements more thoroughly in the future. Merry Christmas!
James W. Farley
Editor’s note: The Pope’s Cologne and Benedictus are advertised in at least a dozen major Catholic publications across the country and have been graciously received by His Holiness as acknowledged in a letter from the Vatican to the purveyor of the products.