Sources connected with the BBC say that Popetown may be too controversial to be broadcast after thousands of viewers complained and expressed their anger about the cartoon’s portrayal of a corrupt Roman Catholic Church, reported The Guardian.
The complaints have been streaming in since the program’s development, estimated at a cost of £2.5 million, was announced 15 months ago.
The BBC has come under fire for its "rudeness and prejudice" toward the Roman Catholic Church quite a bit recently. In a letter to The Herald last week, the Archbishop of Glasgow said the broadcaster was guilty of encouraging a "tabloid culture" and expressed particular concern about Popetown.
The 10-part cartoon is a satire of life at the Vatican and, among other things, has a manic Pope bouncing around on a pogo stick, reported The Guardian.
Popetown was supposed to be broadcast last fall. The BBC now says it will go out later this year, but this is not guaranteed.
A BBC spokeswoman said the program is still in production but she added that "several thousand" complaints have been received and more than 6,000 Catholics signed a petition against the show last year.
Human rights campaigner James Mawdsley revived the protest after he vowed to boycott the broadcaster’s license fee and to risk going to jail over the show Feb. 9.
The Today program featured the Mawdsley case and Catholic commentator Clifford Longley accused the BBC of trying to incite ill-feeling towards the 6 million Catholics in the country. Longley also called on different religions to unite in opposition to the show.
"It would be good for Jewish and Muslim leaders to stand up for Catholics for one and speak out against this... to warn the BBC to permit the broadcast of an inflammatory and defamatory series ridiculing the Pope would be a mistake," Longley said.