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Vatican Pulls World Youth Day Stamp

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Vatican Pulls World Youth Day Stamp

The Vatican has pulled from circulation a World Youth Day stamp of Pope Francis with young people in an image that resembles propaganda from Portugal’s former dictatorship.

According to Radio Renascença, the radio station of the Patriarchate of Lisbon and the Portuguese bishops’ conference, a Holy See official confirmed May 18 that the stamp had been removed from circulation but did not provide further explanation.

The stamp, which was advertised May 11 by the Vatican philatelic office, depicts Francis leading a group of young people toward the World Youth Day 2023 logo and mimics the statue of “Padrão dos Descobrimentos” (Monument of the Discoveries) in Lisbon, a statue built during Portugal’s conservative dictatorship.

Radio Renascença reported that the stamp “raised controversies in some sectors of the Portuguese church” due to its resemblance to nationalistic propaganda produced by Portugal’s dictatorship in the mid-20th century. It had been scheduled to enter circulation May 16.


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