From: Vatican 'cashes in' by putting price on the Pope's copyright - World - Times Online
THE Vatican has been accused of trying to cash in on the Pope?s words after it decided to impose strict copyright on all papal pronouncements.
For the first time all papal documents, including encyclicals, will be governed by copyright invested in the official Vatican publishing house, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
The edict covers Pope Benedict XVI?s first encyclical, which is to be issued this week amid huge international interest. The edict is retroactive, covering not only the writings of the present pontiff ? as Pope and as cardinal ? but also those of his predecessors over the past 50 years. It therefore includes anything written by John Paul II, John Paul I, Paul VI and John XXIII.
The decision was denounced yesterday for treating the Pope?s words as ?saleable merchandise? and endangering the Church?s mission to ?spread the Christian message?.
Vittorio Messori, who has co-authored works with Pope Benedict and John Paul II, said that he was ?perplexed and alarmed . . . This is wholly negative and absolutely disastrous for the Vatican?s image.? A pope?s words should be available to all free of charge, he said, and to ?cash in in this way surrounds the clergy with the odour of money?.
The Union of Italian Catholic Publishers and Booksellers said that it had not been consulted, and that the edict ?flies in the face of what we do ? spreading the Pope?s message to the world?.
A Vatican spokesman said that the Holy See had to defend itself against ?pirated editions?. The move is also aimed at ?premature publication?. Journalists accredited to the Vatican are handed papal texts under embargo. The Vatican said that if embargos were broken in future not only would the journalist face sanctions but also his or her publication would face legal action.
Ha! Stealing the word of god... pirates of gods word! This is to good. It's not April yet... is this some very elaborate April fools joke very early? Will these pirates of God's word be banished to hell? :)