Friday, September 12, 2008

Italian Prosecutors Charge Satirist With Offending the Pope

The Lateran Pacts of 1929 between Italy and the Vatican provides (Conciliation Treaty, Art. 8) that: "All offences or public insults committed within Italian territory against the person of the Supreme Pontiff, whether by means of speeches, acts, or writings, shall be punished in the same manner as offences and insults against the person of the King." Pink News reported yesterday that Italy's Ministry of Justice has given prosecutors in Rome permission to proceed under the Lateran Treaty against comedienne and satirist Sabina Guzzanti. She is charged with "offending the honour of the sacred and inviolable person" of Pope Benedict XVI. During a comedy routine Guzzanti criticized the Vatican's interference in issues such as gay rights, saying: "Within twenty years the Pope will be where he ought to be, in Hell, tormented by great big poofter devils..."