'No, you aren't distributing Luther condoms,' Germany's Evangelical Church tells youth group
While it might be thought that enthusing young people about Martin Luther was a good thing, the Dusseldorf youth church took things a little too far when they distributed condoms featuring quotes from the great man including 'Here I stand, I can do no other' – a tag also associated with 'holy socks'.
Now Germany's Evangelical Church has ordered the youth groupto suspend a programme aimed at marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on the grounds that it is 'fundamentally inappropriate'.
The Church said in a statement on Friday that the initiative should cease immediately.
'It would be best if the condoms are destroyed on site so that no more enter circulation, said spokesman Klaus Eberl.
The scandal was widely reported in German media.
The 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation is being widely marked in Germany, where Martin Luther is revered not just for his theological work but for his influence on the development of the German language.
Events are taking place in Berlin and in Wittenberg, where he nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the church there and launched the movement that would become Protestantism.
Luther was a fierce critic of the corruption that had permeated the Catholic Church of his day and stressed the importance of personal faith in the life of the believer, independent of the mediation of a priest.