“I thank the Pope for his appreciation of the new atmosphere which has broken out in Italy with the arrival of our political grouping in power. We model ourselves on the European Popular Party, and for the Vatican this is something to appreciate. We are on the Churchs side: we believe in the Christian tradition, in the undeniable value of life, on the role and the value of the family, on the defence of human rights, on solidarity, justice, tolerance. We respect the weaker members of society: the ill, children, the elderly, the marginalised. We are on the same wavelength as that on which the Church is active” affirmed Italys Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, just before his meeting with the Pope, scheduled for 11 am today. Berlusconi added: “We hold that all kinds of dialogue are possible between Church and State. The Church and its organisations are free to express their thoughts on anything, the lay state has every right to follow its own lights in the governments deeds. My Government cannot fail to meet with the approval of the Pope and of the Church”.
Berlusconi is Italy’s richest man, and his commercial empire includes three private television stations and the country’s leading daily newspaper. Two of the three state-run TV stations are operated by his supporters, and you are as likely to hear a critical word uttered about him in the Italian media as you are likely to hear criticism of Vladimir Putin in the Russian media. If this guy believes in justice and in the best interests of the weaker members of society, I have a Trevi Fountain to sell you.