Vatican newspaper denounces 'woeful' Charlie Hebdo cover

Mistake on Charlie Hebdo Memorial Plaque Unveiled by Holland

The Vatican newspaper has criticized French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo for depicting God as a Kalashnikov-carrying killer, saying it was "woeful" and disrespectful to true believers of all faiths.

The cover was an anniversary edition, commemorating the attacks a year ago when Islamist militants killed 12 during an assault on the Charlie Hebdo newsroom in Paris. The cartoon on the cover shows an angry God with blood on his hands and a rifle strapped to his back.

"One year later, the assassin is still on the run," the headline says.

The Vatican daily newspaper L'Osservatore Romano accused Charlie Hebdo of looking to "manipulate" faith.

"Behind the deceptive flag of an uncompromising secularism, the French weekly once again forgets what religious leaders of every faith have been urging for ages - to reject violence in the name of religion and that using God to justify hatred is a genuine blasphemy," it wrote in a short commentary.

"Charlie Hebdo's move shows the sad paradox of a world which is increasingly sensitive about being politically correct to the point of being ridiculous ... but does not want to recognize or respect believers' faith in God, regardless of their religion."

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Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical covers lampooning political and religious leaders, lost many of its top editorial staff when Islamist militants broke into an editorial meeting on Jan. 7, 2015, and opened fire.

After that attack, Pope Francis took issue with Charlie Hebdo's anti-religious stance.

"You can't provoke, you can't insult the faith of others, you can't make fun of faith," he told reporters during an Asian tour. The Vatican later issued a statement that said the pope's comments were not intended as a justification for the attacks.

An editorial released before publication of Wednesday's special edition said the magazine would continue despite religious extremists who wanted to muzzle it.

"They won't be the ones to see Charlie die - Charlie will see them kick the bucket," it said.

RELATED: See photos from the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks

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Vatican newspaper denounces 'woeful' Charlie Hebdo cover
A painting with the message 'I am Ahmed' is seen in a street on January 5, 2016 after a ceremony to unveil a commemorative plaque at the site where policeman Ahmed Merabet was killed during the last year's January attack in Paris. A total of 17 people were killed in the three days of attacks dubbed 'France's 9/11', marking the start of a string of jihadist strikes in the country that culminated in November's massacre in Paris. / AFP / JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
The mother of Ahmed Merabet (L), the policeman who was killed during the last year's January attack, leaves on January 5, 2016 in Paris after a ceremony to unveil a commemorative plaque at the site where her son was shot. A total of 17 people were killed in the three days of attacks dubbed 'France's 9/11', marking the start of a string of jihadist strikes in the country that culminated in November's massacre in Paris. / AFP / POOL / BENOIT TESSIER (Photo credit should read BENOIT TESSIER/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on January 5, 2016 in Paris shows an art piece made of a painting by French cartoonist Philippe Honore (known as Honore) and mosaic picturing French cartoonist Charb on of the the victims killed in the attack of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 7, 2015. A total of 17 people were killed in the three days of attacks dubbed 'France's 9/11', marking the start of a string of jihadist strikes in the country that culminated in November's massacre in Paris. / AFP / JOEL SAGET / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on January 5, 2016 in Paris shows an art piece made of a painting by French cartoonist Philippe Honore (known as Honore) and mosaic picturing French cartoonist Honore on of the the victims killed in the attack of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 7, 2015. A total of 17 people were killed in the three days of attacks dubbed 'France's 9/11', marking the start of a string of jihadist strikes in the country that culminated in November's massacre in Paris. / AFP / JOEL SAGET / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on January 5, 2016 in Paris shows an art piece made of a painting by French cartoonist Philippe Honore (known as Honore) and mosaic picturing French cartoonist Tignous on of the the victims killed in the attack of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 7, 2015. A total of 17 people were killed in the three days of attacks dubbed 'France's 9/11', marking the start of a string of jihadist strikes in the country that culminated in November's massacre in Paris. / AFP / JOEL SAGET / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on January 5, 2016 on Paris shows an art piece made of a painting by French cartoonist Philippe Honore (known as Honore) and mosaic picturing French cartoonist Cabu on of the the victims killed on the attack of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015. A total of 17 people were killed in the three days of attacks dubbed 'France's 9/11', marking the start of a string of jihadist strikes in the country that culminated in November's massacre in Paris. / AFP / JOEL SAGET / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on January 5, 2016 in Paris shows an art piece made of a painting by French cartoonist Philippe Honore (known as Honore) and mosaic picturing French cartoonist Wolinski on of the the victims killed in the attack of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 7, 2015. A total of 17 people were killed in the three days of attacks dubbed 'France's 9/11', marking the start of a string of jihadist strikes in the country that culminated in November's massacre in Paris. / AFP / JOEL SAGET / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
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