The Pope has taken a German satirical magazine to court over a front cover that pictured the pontiff with a yellow stain down the front of his hassock.
By Matthew Day
5:39PM BST 11 Jul 2012
Pope Benedict has asked a law firm to take action against Titanic magazine, which used the cover to introduce a story on the “Vatileaks” scandal. The cover picture features the Pope with a crotch-height yellow stain on his white hassock accompanied by the headline “Hallelujah in the Vatican: the leak has been found”.
The back of the magazine features a picture of the Pope taken from the rear with a brown stain along with a headline “Another Leak Found.”
Matthias Kopp, spokesman for the German Bishop’s Conference, told the magazine Spiegel that the Vatican had hired a Bonn law firm to take action in the name of the Pope, adding that the Titanic cover “oversteps every level of decency”.
A Hamburg court has already banned the publishers of the magazine from further sales of the Pope edition and has forbidden the company on penalty of a fine from using the images of the apparently soiled pontiff on the internet.
Leo Fischer, Titanic’s editor, described the court ruling a “huge mistake”.
“Benedict must have misunderstood us,” he said in a statement published in the magazine, pointing out that in the picture the Pope was actually, “celebrating after the leak affair was solved and in his excitement has spilt a glass of lemonade over his cassock. Everybody knows the Pope likes Fanta.” He added that he was prepared for a long court battle with the Vatican.