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Magazine Depicts Pope as Half-Naked Woman

Loaded magazine owner sneers that Church ‘held itself up to ridicule.’

Talk about edgy comedy. A daring magazine has depicted Mohammed as a sexy, topless woman wearing a turban and holding Muslim prayer beads while staring inquisitively into the clouds. On the front cover.

Just kidding. It’s actually another boring attack on Catholicism. Lucy Pinder, a 29-year-old U.K. model who can’t seem to keep her clothes on, graced the April issue cover of Loaded, a young men’s magazine that boasts a 1.4 million monthly readership. She stood provocatively in the picture, baring her chest with white robes and a priest’s stole hugging her shoulders. She stared into the sky while wearing one cross around her neck and holding another in her hand.

Catholic League’s President Bill Donahue expressed the outrage among Catholics over the picture, telling TMZ that "Lucy Pinder shouldn't have any problem turning men's heads, so it is all the more gratuitous to see her wearing a priest's stole, stitched with crosses, nicely covering her plus-sized chest." Donohue continued on a sarcastic note, "If Lucy has any guts, perhaps next time she'll carefully drape herself in some Islamic garb during Ramadan. And then run for the hills." 

As for Pinder, she laughed off the controversy and admitted, “The shoot is meant to be fun and very tongue-in-cheek." 

TMZ concluded after Pinder’s comment, “So chill, Catholics.” The Hollywood Gossip continued, “It’s really not a big deal, so basically chill, Bill.” After all, it was nothing compared to Pinder’s bikini photos, although, “we’d love to get [Donohue’s] reaction to some of the chest coverage in that there gallery.” 

A Loaded spokesman defended the magazine’s intentions: "It wasn't aimed with the intention of upsetting the Catholic Church or the Vatican,” but, “if they do want to consider Lucy Pinder for the Papal vacancy we will put it to her." 

Paul Chaplin, Loaded’s owner, offered anything but an apology: "This is a photoshoot of a pretty girl (created so by god) which effects satirical commentary on that [papal] crisis.” He unabashedly blamed the Catholic Church for the picture, saying “The Holy See has held itself up to ridicule in the catholic and secular worlds by its historic and present conduct. Conduct which has led to the present papal crisis.” 

He may have contradicted the magazine’s explanation that the picture titled “For God’s Sake” was a decision to “celebrate the life of the pope with his favorite angel…” 

This, of course, isn’t the first or even worst use of nudity and sex to mock the Catholic Church – that prize goes the Mexico Playboy’s depiction of a nude Virgin Mary. But this time, there’s no apology.