The December 2008 issue of Playboy Mexico did a photo spread of the Virgin Mary. It was actually Playboy model María Florencia Onori and a lot of people are steaming mad over it. Here is the magazine cover. Read about it below.

Apparently Playboy, Inc. decided to give Mexico an early Christmas present by insulting the country’s entire Catholic population. In Mexico that’s about 1000% of the population. The people at Playboy did this by using a model, María Florencia Onori, to invoke the image of the Virgin Mary and having her pose buffy in front of a stained glass window with sheets, crowns and what not. In addition, they added spiffy little captions under the photos about confessions, apparitions and other religious imagery. [link NSFW]

Just to make sure that they had thoroughly mocked all religious and cultural icon of the Mexican people, they released the December 2008 issue of Playboy on the eve of the Mexican celebration of Our Lady of Gudalupe. That is arguably Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image. The annual pilgrimage to Mexico City to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe is one of the largest religious events in the world. On the eve of this religious celebration, Playboy published a magazine with photos of a Virgin Mary.

This could very well turn into a major battle in the culture wars. There has been such an outcry against the imagery in the magazine that the U. S. Playboy headquarters issued an apology. They said they did not approve of or endorse the photos.

“While Playboy Mexico never meant for the cover or images to offend anyone, we recognize that it has created offense, and we as well as Playboy Mexico offer our sincerest apologies,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Playboy Mexico also issued an apology. However, their apology claimed that the photos were intended to present a ‘Renaissance-like mood’ and there was no intention for them to portray the Virgin Mary or any other religious figure. Ummmm …. yeah. Okay, whatever you say.

You can see the Virgin Mary photos and a video of the photo session here, but they are NSFW.