A German satirical magazine’s attempt to poke fun at Pope Benedict over the Vatileaks scandal has resulted in legal action — from the Pope himself.
A law firm in the German city of Bonn was contracted to act for the Pope against Titanic magazine for front and back covers that, in the words of a spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, “overstepped every measure of decency”.
A state court in Hamburg issued a temporary injunction against the magazine, banning the magazine from distributing the issue any further or allowing the covers to be published on the Internet.
The German magazine sued by the Pope had satirical covers that referred to the recent Vatican scandal in which private papers were leaked to the Italian media.
On the front cover of Titanic, an apparently incontinent Pope Benedict appears in a cassock that is soiled yellow below the waist. Above the picture is the headline “Hallelujah in the Vatican: The leak has been found!”
On the back cover the Vatileaks satire continues, with the Pope shown from behind, this time with brown stains on his cassock. A headline reads “Another leak sourced!”
Titanic editor-in-chief Leo Fischer contested claims that the pictures damage the Pope’s personal rights. He said they merely show that the Pope spilled his drink when celebrating with a glass of soda after the Vatileaks scandal was solved.
“Everyone knows that the Pope is a big fan of Fanta,” Fischer said.
He expressed disappointment with the Hamburg court ruling, but said his magazine is prepared for a long court battle.
Titanic’s website now shows the issue with its Vatileaks satire blacked out. A new front cover depicts a stain-free Pope clasping two foaming bottles of Fanta. The new headline reads “Titanic banned — Pope overcome with joy!”
Image: The Independent
News category: World.