An Italian comedienne faces prosecution for insulting the Pope, an offence that carries a prison sentence of up to five years.
Sabina Guzzanti, noted for her sharp satirical wit and lampoons of the powerful, is accused of "offending the honour of the sacred and inviolable person" of Pope Benedict XVI at a rally in Rome in July.
Speakers at the rally on Piazza Navona also protested against excessive interference by the Vatican and the Catholic Church in Italian affairs, from abortion to gay rights. Ms Guzzanti, noted for her satirical impersonations of Mr Berlusconi, told the crowd that within 20 years Italian teachers would be vetted and chosen by the Vatican.
She added: "But then within twenty years the Pope will be where he ought to be, in Hell, tormented by great big poofter devils — and very active ones, not passive ones." Giovanni Ferrara, the Rome prosecutor, said that he had asked Angelino Alfano, the Minister of Justice, for permission to proceed with a prosecution.
The 1929 Lateran Treaty and Giovanni Ferrara, The Times 29 Comments
[9/15/2008 12:40:00 PM]
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