Titanic magazineâ€™s July edition featured a picture of the German-born pontiff with a yellow stain on his white cassock and the headline: â€œThe leak has been found.â€
Titanic then published on its home page a copy of a letter sent by Archbishop Angelo Becciu to a German lawyer in Benedictâ€™s name asking him to take â€œthe necessary legal steps against this publication.â€
â€œThe Holy Father tasks you to institute proceedings against this violation of his personal rights,â€ the letter added.
The magazineâ€™s editor Leo Fischer said in a statement: â€œBenedict must have misunderstood us.â€
He said the cover showed a pope who had accidentally spilled a soft drink over his cassock in his exuberance.
A spokeswoman for a regional court in the northern city of Hamburg said authorities had already banned the magazine from further publication of the image although it does not have to recall editions already issued.
The â€œVatileaksâ€ scandal has seen whistleblowers copying and leaking private documents straight from Benedictâ€™s desk, causing deep embarrassment to the Vatican.
The leaked documents shed light on many Vatican secrets, including the Churchâ€™s tax problems, pedophile priest scandals and negotiations with hardline traditionalist rebels.