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­Pope sues magazine over photo with controversial stain

Published time: July 11, 2012 14:44
Edited time: July 12, 2012 01:30
July's Titanic magazine cover (Photo from

July's Titanic magazine cover (Photo from

Pope Benedict XVI has resorted to court action after apparently being offended by a German satirical magazine.

The July edition of Titanic published a photograph of the Pope with stains covering his cassock below the waist on the front and back covers. On the front cover the stain is yellow, and on the back it is brown.

The pictures were published under the headline "Hallelujah in the Vatican: The leak has been found!" referring to a recent scandal over correspondence to the Pope and his close associates being leaked to the media, the German N24 channel said.

The edition’s impudence infuriated some Catholics including clerics in the Vatican.

Archbishop Angelo Becciu acting on behalf of the Pope of Rome has already contacted a law firm in Germany, Matthias Kopp, spokesperson for the German Bishops' Conference told Spiegel Online. He also added “Titanic oversteps every measure of decency."

The magazine’s editor-in-chief Leo Fischer denies the edition has violated the Pope’s personal rights and says the picture is offensive only in people’s minds, as it shows that the Pope has spilled a drink. "Everyone knows that the Pope is a big fan of Fanta," Spiegel Online quotes Fisher as saying.

A court in Hamburg has already issued temporary sanctions against Titanic until the case is ruled. The magazine has to suspend further distribution of the July issue featuring the Pope’s picture. They are also banned from publishing the image online. Issues already in circulation don’t have to be called off.

The court’s decision dissatisfied Titanic’s editor-in-chief and he is prepared to fight a long battle.