MTV pope toon raises Catholic ire

'Popetown' target of German Catholic watchdogs

German Catholics have launched a crusade against MTV and BBC toon series “Popetown,” which the music web plans to air in primetime starting May 3.

MTV rankled the Central Committee of German Catholics with print ads for the skein that depict an empty cross and a laughing Jesus sitting in front of a TV plus a slogan that reads “Instead of just hanging around, have a laugh.”

An MTV spokesman in Berlin said execs were not worried about the complaints and that they would not pull the show.

The 10 episodes of “Popetown” — about Father Nicholas, who runs the back office at the Vatican and is forced to deal with a zany pope and his dodgy cardinals — will air Wednesdays.

While MTV has admitted that “Popetown” is not to everyone’s taste, it said the series neither insults nor slanders religious beliefs and called the show satirical entertainment that should be viewed as a form of art.

Not so, according to the Central Committee of German Catholics.

“Christians in Germany have been provoked just days before Good Friday and the Easter holiday,” said org prexy Hans Joachim Meyer, who called the series a “disgusting mockery of the Catholic Church. Just the ad for the series drags the Christian faith through the mud.”

The BBC yanked the show in the U.K. two years ago after similar protests from Catholic groups there.

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