Poland welcomed the first visit by Pope Benedict XVI to the country which started Thursday, May 25, with a ban on racy ads and liquor sales. Polish tabloid newspapers refrained from publishing the usual photos of topless models on their back pages, Reuters reported.
Bars in the capital Warsaw will be either closed or serving only low alcohol content beer during the pontiff’s five-day visit to Poland, the homeland of his predecessor John Paul II.
Beata Zmijewska, who works at the government press center, said the alcohol sale ban “is about properly participating in Pope Benedict’s pilgrimage.”
Polish state television has also decided to shy away from broadcasting ads for alcohol, contraceptives or lingerie. Racy ads in the streets were either removed or covered. An eye-catching outdoor poster for an anti-cellulite cream was covered up after a conservative group complained that the sight of a woman’s bare backside and thigh was offensive.
“We acknowledged this request to respect the feelings of the faithful,” said Pierre Plassard, director of L’Oreal Polska, explaining why his company had covered up the ad. [source]
Poland is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic but I’m not so sure why all these things have suddenly become “offensive” and must be concealed (or banned) “out of respect for the Pope”. I doubt he comes to Poland just to check the tabloids. Though the way I see it is that if these things are banned then on some level there’s an acknowledgement that the Pope finds them offensive or more specifically morally wrong on religious grounds.
Which begs the question: are they more respectful of the Pope than God?