The most recent edition of the Arabic-language edition of National Geographic, picturing Pope Francis on its cover, was embargoed in Saudi Arabia. On September 2 the magazine’s Twitter account explained the non-appearance of the issue in these terms: “Dear readers in Saudi Arabia, we apologize that you did not receive August’s magazine. According to the distribution company, the magazine was refused entry for cultural reasons.”
On the political analysis website Foreign Policy, as cited by Le Figaro on September 11, the American magazine mentioned the need for religious institutions to adapt to a rapidly changing world, without limiting its remarks to the Catholic religion. The editorial also emphasized that “religious institutions are only tools aimed at preserving something, and if they are no longer capable of that, they must be altered.” All of these statements no doubt incited the Saudi authorities, who are not inclined to convoke a Council for aggiornamento, to censor the magazine.
(Sources: apic/ lefigaro /foreignpolicy – DICI no. 321 dated September 25, 2015)