Planned Cartoon Show About Pope Causes Controversy

February 10, 2004

Source: The New York Times

On February 10, 2004 The New York Times ran a Reuters article that reported, "Thousands of angry Roman Catholics have written to Britain's BBC complaining about a planned cartoon show mocking the pope as a puerile preacher on a pogo stick, the broadcaster said Tuesday. Petitions are circulating in parishes and some Catholics are even risking jail by refusing to pay television tax -- similar to a U.S. cable charge -- if the show goes out as planned this summer. 'I am not prepared to pay for the Holy Father to be mocked,' said human rights activist James Mawdsley who met Pope John Paul II after the Vatican intervened to have the campaigner released from a Burmese jail. Luke Coppen of the Catholic Herald newspaper said the cartoon was 'gratuitously insulting' and had caused 'quite a big uproar.' The BBC said complaints about 'Popetown'' -- a satirical cartoon about office politics in the Vatican -- had numbered 'a few thousand.'"