Court rejects Catholic request to stop Popetown
4 May 2006, MUNICH - A German court rejected Wednesday a last-minute request by the Catholic Church to halt the broadcast of Popetown, a British-made TV cartoon that makes fun of the pope and the Vatican.
4 May 2006
MUNICH - A German court rejected Wednesday a last-minute request by the Catholic Church to halt the broadcast of Popetown, a British-made TV cartoon that makes fun of the pope and the Vatican.
Judges said they could only have stopped the German arm of MTV from airing the 10-part weekly series if it had risked causing a breach of the peace by insulting religious sensibilities.
The court in Munich told church lawyers that TV shows might be tasteless or stupid, but that did not mean they endangered civic peace. Judges said debate about the forthcoming programme in Germany had remained rational.
The ruling came after the Archdiocese of Munich rejected a proposal in court to air a television debate with Catholic figures participating before and after the first episode of Popetown.
Popetown, a quirky situation comedy which features a heroic priest, sinister cardinals and a brattish pope riding a pogo stick, has never aired in Britain, but has been shown in New Zealand over protests from Catholics, who say its humour goes too far.
MTV's lawyers said, "This was the outcome we expected."
The archdiocese said afterwards it would continue to advocate greater sensitivity towards religious symbols.
Subject: German news