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Cardinal condemns Berlusconi scandals

By on Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Silvio Berlusconi is facing trial for fraud (Photo: AP)

Silvio Berlusconi is facing trial for fraud (Photo: AP)

The head of the Italian bishops’ conference has condemned the “licentious behaviour and improper relations” of Italy’s political class, in what was seen as the strongest Church criticism to date of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The speech by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa did not specifically name Mr Berlusconi but appeared to respond to recent sex scandal revelations involving the 74-year-old prime minister. He is accused of paying for sex with a 17-year-old and is also facing trial for fraud.

“It is sad to see the deterioration of public morals and language,” Cardinal Bagnasco said in an address to Italian bishops.

“It is especially mortifying to witness behaviour that is not only contrary to public decorum but also intrinsically wretched and empty,” he said.

He said such behaviour was damaging to the entire country, and promoted a culture of easy pleasure instead of the spirit of sacrifice that is needed in tough economic times.

In September Italian newspapers reported excerpts from taped phone conversations, in which, among other things, Berlusconi boasted about having sex with eight women in one night. Opposition leaders said the recorded calls suggested Berlusconi may have flown prostitutes to his villa on government planes. Berlusconi has denied paying for sex.

Cardinal Bagnasco’s remarks came four days after Pope Benedict XVI, in a telegram to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, called for an “ever more intense ethical renewal” in Italy. Although the Pope named no names, his comment was also seen as a criticism of Berlusconi.

  • Siobhan

    Sure Berlusconi did some unpleasant things, however a Christian preacher is very likely to be hanged tomorrow in Iran for the crime of being a Christian. I have not heard a peep from the Catholic church or any other one about the fate of this poor man, then again I suppose they do not want to offend the followers of the religion of peace but a seedy old politician, well that is cause for censure.

  • Parasum

    Since Abp Williams is doing something, even though the condemned pastor is not in the C of E, the obvious course of action would be for  the Pope to raise this man’s case with Iran’s ambassador to the Vatican. If Abp Nichols has said or done anything, it hasn’t been reported. Catholic bishops don’t care a button for any Christians but Catholics :( And yet, the CC is the one with the political connections; it could so much to lessen the persecution of Christians, if it wanted to. Abp Williams is showing who is the true Christian here.

  • James Callender

    I have heard some anti-catholic drivel spouted over the years but this takes the biscuit.  An Archbishop of an Anglican Church cannot claim of being a ‘true Christian’ compared to a Catholic bishop (ordained by a successor of St. Peter) because the church in which he is a part of was founded on adultery, murder and theft.  I think you will find that these acts are all contrary to the Ten Commandments.  Indeed once separated from the original church of the Apostles (The Roman Catholic Church, yes news flash – St. Peter and St. Paul were matryred in Rome not Lambeth Palace, Christianity was the religion of the Roman Empire, all of the Church Fathers were CATHOLICS, not “Ecumenical Christians” expressing their allegiance to Rome), a Anglican “Bishop” cannot claim in any valid sense to be a true Christian.  It is sad to see the distortion of facts and thinly veiled anti-catholic sentiments appearing more and more on the Herald website, I am sure you know this is a Catholic website, so why post anti-catholic comments here?  You are wasting your time.  The catholic faithful cannot be deceived by mischievous rubbish.  As to the claim that the Catholic Church only cares about Catholics and not over Christians, well that is a laughable statements with no concrete evidence cited.  Just think about it this way, the Protestant Christians should be eternally grateful for the canonising of the Bible, which of course belongs within the Catholic Church and you cannot talk about a Protestant or Non-Catholic Bible without entering an epistemological vacuum.  Every Anglican has a Catholic ancestor, and who are you to presume that 1500 years of your ancestors were all in ingorance of “real” Christianity?  The Catholic Church is THE Church of England and the Anglican church is rapidly fading away into irrelevance and becoming more like a government department than a church by the day.

  • LocutusOP

    It’s about time.

  • Parasum

    Damian Thompson is asking the same question, not about Nichols, but about the Pope. How very “anti-Catholic” of him.

    And maybe, when you can be bothered, try reading Luke 10, the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Silly old Jesus, putting neighbourly charity above religious groupthink. Better a “heretic” wiuth compassion, than an “orthodox” triumphalist who crosses over and walks by on the other side, like the Priest and Levite in the parable. Catholic bigotry only makes Catholicism stink like hell.  The anti-Catholicism is yours, because you are the one perverting Catholicism into a narrow and anti-social sect. You should be ashamed of yourself for doing so :(

  • AgingPapist

    Cardinal Bagnasco and the Pope should be tending to their own knitting before wringing their hands over the moral decline in Italy.  The Church’s  dirty linen is as bad, if not worse, with a stench to it rising into the heavens.

    The Italian pemier should end this Vatican farce by sending troops into this so-called “sovereign state”, and send the pope and his scarlet and purple clad cronies packing. 

  • AgingPapist

    Roman papal primacy is built upon a fiction which passes for history.  It is a fraud in good company with the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. the Donation of Constantine, and the mythical founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus.

    Amazing how Papist hogwash continues to enchant and mesmerize the child-like faithful of the Church of Rome into their unquestioning obeisance.

  • Anonymous

    a disgusting man, I can’t believe Italians voted him in for 3 terms. What Clinton or Major did certainly pale in comparison to this complete lack of morals.

    A 17 year old girl being paid to sleep with a 74 year old man! I hope the courts find a way to punish this kind of illegal behaviour.

  • James Callender

    To Parasum:
    Well yes, Damian Thompson should stop “speaking for British Catholicism” because he should know that as, apparently a catholic, obedience to the successor of St. Peter is required out of charity.  Once he starts attacking the Holy See out of personal pride, he has now identified himself as a Protestant!  Oh, you are utterring the anti catholic slur that catholics haven’t read and/or know nothing about the bible, especially the 4 gospels.  Well, news flash, most catholics have a better understanding of the Bible than Protestants (aka Heretics because they have forcibly separated themselves from the Church of Christ).  Yes i have read Luke 10, believe it or not. 
    You are believing some of the rubbish that is on the Internet about the Vatican.  Since when did the Catholic Church cross over on the other side?  It is the largest provider of health care and education in the World.  It is the ONLY church which consistently speaks up for the rights of the unborn, the elderly and terminally ill (the C of E does not have the balls to stand up to the evils or abortion and contraception).  And this is coming from an advocate of the C of E which pilfered and destroyed the monastries and ancient churches of England? 
    How can a devout Roman Catholic be anti-Catholic?  This is false by definition!  You are totally out of your mind!  Or are your believing the hogwash that you can be “Anglican” and “Catholic”?  Hmm maybe not because the CofE is anti-catholic to its very core and its very foundation!  And the RC has already denounced Anglican orders as totally null and void!
    To AgingPapist:
    I am sorry but history is totally not on the side of what you are saying.  There is more than ample evidence of the Primacy of Rome.  How is my obedience to Rome unthinking?  The RC is not compelling anyone to be a Catholic , it is totally up to that individuals free will.  I am a convert from Methodism!  Primacy of conscience is a central tenet of Catholicism.

  • James Callender

    Aging Papist, you are clearly out of your mind and no understanding of history or the church. The misdeeds of former popes and bishops are of no bearing on the Church of Christ.  They will be punished for their sins, but the true Church will not because the Church of the Apostles cannot by definition fall into error.  You obviously know nothing about the history of the Holy See as an independent state.  Given that this is a Catholic website, you should keep your anti-catholic rubbish for an Ian Paisley website.

  • BTyler

    Reading too much Da Vinci Code? Put down the conspiracy theories and read Matthew 16:18.