German satirical magazine in trouble over Papal 'leaks'
Germany's satirical magazine Titanic was embroiled in a legal row with the offices of Pope Benedict XVI yesterday after it published a photograph of the pontiff wearing a urine-stained cassock with a headline proclaiming that it had finally "sourced" the Vatican leaks.
Even though he is German, the Pope was evidently not amused by the brand of Teutonic humour employed by the magazine.
Germany's Catholic Bishops' Conference confirmed yesterday that the Vatican had taken steps to prosecute the magazine for its front cover, claiming it was illegal and "infringed the Holy Father's rights". Matthias Kopp, the conference's spokesman, complained that Titanic had "overstepped every measure of decency".
The magazine's front page showed an apparently incontinent pope under the headline "Hallelujah in the Vatican: the leak has been sourced". The back cover showed the pontiff from behind with brown stains on his cassock and a caption reading: "Another leak sourced!"
The satire, which referred to the recent Vatican scandal in which private letters to the Pope were leaked to the Italian media, also failed to amuse judges at a court in Hamburg. On Tuesday they issued a temporary injunction banning further distribution of the offending issue.
Yesterday Titanic's website showed its Vatican leaks issue blacked out. A new front cover depicted a stain-free pope clasping two foaming bottles of the popular fizzy drink Fanta. "Titanic banned – Pope overcome with joy!" read a new headline.
Leo Fischer, Titanic's editor, said yesterday that the pontiff had misunderstood the front cover. He said it had merely shown the pope with a cassock stained with fizzy drink spilt at a party celebrating the fact that the Vatican leaks scandal had been solved. "Everyone knows how much the Pope likes Fanta," he said.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
World news in pictures
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.