The German satire magazine “Titanic” has done it again. They managed to get the country and its censors up in arms about a magazine title. I guess there is no better publicity, after all. This time, the ruckus is about the cover of the latest edition, which features an altered photo of Pope Ratzinger wearing a soiled robe, yellow at the front, brown at the back. So much for subtlety.
The cover is in response to the recent publishing of letters to the Pope that made it into a book, a scandal which was somewhat unoriginally dubbed “Vatileaks“. It’s illegal now after a court injunction to post the images, but this is what it’s about :
In the current cover, Pope Benedict appears in a religious cassock that is soiled yellow below the waist. Above the picture appears the headline “Hallelujah in the Vatican: The leak has been found!” On the back cover of the issue, the pope appears from behind and the stains are brown rather than yellow.
The Titanic writers are used to this kind of backlash to their magazine titles. I’m therefore not surprised that they came up with this excuse :
Titanic editor-in-chief Leo Fischer refutes the claims that the pictures damage the Pope’s personal rights. “Benedict must have misunderstood,” says Fischer. The title, he says, merely shows a pope that had spilled his drink when celebrating with a glass of soda after the Vatileaks scandal was solved, he says. “Everyone knows that the Pope is a big fan of Fanta,” says Fischer.
Obviously! Now whatever you do, don’t google “pope titanic images”. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.