Silvio Berlusconi: theocrat

10 06 2008

AGI reports:

“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 Church’s 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 Italy’s 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 government’s 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.

What is the point of “sin?”

11 03 2008

From the SMH:

As the seven ancient wonders of the world were matched by seven modern wonders, the seven deadly sins have been given a modern version for a globalised world, announced by a Vatican official yesterday.Polluting, genetic engineering, obscene riches, taking drugs, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice join the original seven deadly sins defined by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century: pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, wrath and sloth.

Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, responsible for absolving Catholics from their sins, named the new mortal sins in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, yesterday.

He did not spell out details but said the original seven deadly sins had an individualistic dimension, while the new seven had a social resonance and showed worshippers that their vices affected other people. Read the rest of this entry »