Seriously? The Vatican has just declared the Pope a legally protected icon. Don’t you dare use it in a cartoon, you vandals, or slap the holy name up on your soap-on-a-rope to gin up extra sales from the gullible.
The Vatican made a declaration on the protection of the figure of the Pope on Saturday morning.Â The statement seeks to establish and safeguard the name, image and any symbols of the Pope as being expressly for official use of the Holy See unless otherwise authorized.
The statement cited a “great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father” in recent years as contributing to a desire to use the Pontiff’s name for all manner of educational and cultural institutions, civic groups and foundations.
Due to this demand, the Vatican has felt it necessary to declare that “it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church.”
The declaration alludes to attempts to use ecclesiastical or pontifical symbols and logos to “attribute credibility and authority to initiatives” as another reason to establish their “copyright” on the Holy Father’s name, picture and coat of arms.
“Consequently, the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff… and/or the use of the title ‘Pontifical,’ must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See,” concluded the message released to the press.
How could I resist? I had a pen and the back of an old envelope, so I had to draw an official pontifical caricature. I suspect the Vatican is much more concerned about the fact that they aren’t raking in a cut on the money-making uses of the papal image than about satirical uses (although you never know — they’re a thin-skinned lot over there), but still…I had to get a lick in, with a completely unauthorized picture of the pope waving a big stick and waggling his spirit fingers at the world. In a small gesture of respect, I did take pains to draw his penis completely condom-free.
(via Infallible Failure)