Bible quotes on Finnish toilet paper draw church protests

OSLO Mon Mar 4, 2013 7:52am EST

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OSLO (Reuters) - A Finnish toilet paper maker has removed quotes from the Bible, including the words of Jesus, that it inadvertently placed on its rolls after protests from some Norwegian church leaders.

Metsa Tissue was trying to convey messages about love but accidentally included lines from the Gospel of Matthew and First Corinthians on toilet paper sold in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

The firm selected the quotes from Facebook submissions, including one from Jesus: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

It only realized its mistake when it received feedback.

"People like to read small, happy messages while sitting on the toilet," Christina von Trampe, a spokeswoman for Metsa Tissue, which produces the Lambi brand, told Reuters.

"The vast majority of the feedback has been positive. Our intention was to spread love and joy, not religious messages."

Laila Riksaasen Dahl, the Bishop of Tunsberg in protestant Norway, was not amused.

"This is bad taste and show lack of respect," she told Vaart Land, a publication focusing on religion issues. "Bible verses do not belong on a roll of toilet paper."

The company, whose toilet rolls in the Nordics regularly feature witty quotes, poetry or philosophical messages, said it would continue the product line but with more stringent vetting.

(Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg; Writing by Balazs Koranyi)

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