Vatican says “no” to exploiting pope’s image

Protecting the Pope’s image and official coat of arms “against cases of illicit use and exploitation for unauthorized profit” tops a Vatican to do list.

The Vatican said the new focus is not related to the illegal posters and newspapers criticising Pope Francis that have appeared in Rome over the past weeks.

The Vatican Secretariat of State says its tasks include protecting the Pope’s image so “his message can reach the faithful intact and his person not be exploited”.

Therefore, it said these tasks include protecting the symbols and coats of arms of the Holy See, “through appropriate regulatory instruments provided for on an international level”.

The Vatican Secretariat of State went on to describe its plans for making its protective action more effective with respect to stated purposes, and to halt situations of illegality that arise.

This will involve systematic surveillance activities to monitor the ways in which the image of the Holy Father and the coats of arms of the Holy See are used.

If necessary, the Secretariat will intervene with appropriate action.


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