The cover of the latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek (below) has the Mormon church seeing red.
The cover parodies the moment Mormon founder Joseph Smith was supposedly made a priest by John the Baptist and mocks the wealthy holdings of the Mormon church.
John the Baptist tells Joseph Smith: "And thou shalt build a shopping mall, own stock in Burger King, and open a Polynesian theme park in Hawaii that shall be largely exempt from the frustrations of tax ...'
Michael Purdy, a spokesman for the Mormon Church, said that the cover is "in such poor taste it is difficult to even find the words to comment on it," according to the Deseret News.
In the magazine, an article entitled 'How the Mormons Make Money' covers the Mormon church's financial holdings, including a $2 billion mall in Salt Lake City, $1 billion ranch in Florida, various media companies, an agricultural company, hospitality business, an insurance firm and a large real estate portfolio.
The article also says the Mormon church is worth close to $40 million and makes about $8 million a year via tithing, but donates less than one percent to charity.
The Mormon church said in a statement, on Thursday, that reports on the chuch's wealth "rarely capture the whole picture," claimed that tithes went to building new churches and allowing the ‘the church to carry out its religious mission across the world.’