Vatican declares copyright on Papal figure
The preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church is seeking 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, released by the Holy See, 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.
Because of this, the Vatican 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 to copyright the Papal figure also refers 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 statement.