German Magazine Shows Pope with large Urine Stains

Country: Germany

Date of incident: July 2, 2012

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Media

The German Magazine "Titanic" presents the pope as a senile for incontinent person by depicting him in a fotomontage with a large urine stain on his white clothes while giving a blessing.

The July-edition of the magazine "Titanic" entitled the story "We found the leak". On Sept 27th, 2012, the German "Presserat" (Press Council) reproached the magazine saying that the journalist code of conduct Art 9 was breached and that the magazine was guilty of violating the honor of the pope.  The exact statement reads in German: "Zwar hat Satire die Freiheit, Kritik an gesellschaftlichen Vorgängen mit den ihr eigenen Stilmitteln wie Übertreibung und Ironie darzustellen. Im vorliegenden Fall wurde die Grenze der Meinungsfreiheit jedoch überschritten. Das Gremium sah keinen Sachbezug zur Rolle des Papstes in der „Vatileaks"-Affäre gegeben. Die Person Joseph Ratzinger wird von TITANIC als „undichte Stelle" tituliert und durch die befleckte Soutane der Lächerlichkeit preis gegeben. Dies ist nicht mehr von der Meinungsfreiheit gedeckt." ("Satire has the freedom to show criticism through exaggeration and irony. But in this case, the borders of freedom of expression were overstepped. The council did not see a factual connection to the role of the pope in the vati-leaks affair. The person of Joseph Ratzinger is called "the leak" by TITANIC and the by the dirty clothes ridiculed. This is not covered by freedom of expression.") Presserat: Source: Heft 393/33. Jahrgang.