Court rejects attempt to ban MTV airing cartoon

A Munich court today rejected a call by the city’s archdiocese to ban MTV’s airing of the cartoon Popetown, saying the Vatican parody is “too dumb to be insulting".

A Munich court today rejected a call by the city’s archdiocese to ban MTV’s airing of the cartoon Popetown, saying the Vatican parody is “too dumb to be insulting".

Amid the outcry to air the cartoon, particularly from conservative and heavily Catholic Bavaria, the music television network said last week it would broadcast only the first episode, then consider public reaction before deciding to air more.

But the Munich archdiocese rejected the concession, instead asking the Munich regional court to ban the program on the grounds it is disparaging to Christianity.

The show features corrupt cardinals, a buxom nun and an infantile pope who bounces around the Vatican on a pogo stick.

The BBC originally commissioned the program but decided in 2004 not to show it after protests from church leaders.

Popetown features comics Matt Lucas, Bob Mortimer, Ruby Wax and Mackenzie Crook

It was screened last year in New Zealand, despite a church-led campaign against the broadcaster.

In its ruling, the Munich court said though the programme has provoked “various reactions” it hasn’t risen to the level of disturbing the public peace, which it would have to do to warrant a ban.

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