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Eucharistic scandal in Italy
Above clockwise you see Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, age 73, receiving Communion at a funeral Mass on April 17, 2010 in Milan. It was a Mass for Raimondo Vianello, a television show star. Prime Minister Berlusconi is one of the moguls of the Italian media.
His moral status: In 1965 he married Carla Dall-Oglio in the Church. In 1985 he divorced her without an annulment. In 1990 he married Veronica Lario, a nightclub stripper and his mistress for some years. Today Lario, below first row, has filed divorce papers, giving as a reason his immoral behavior. She states that she is "fed up with him associating with minors." This is an allusion to an affair Berlusconi was having with Noemi Letizia, then age 17. He stopped living with Lario in May 2009.
The press frequently reports on the "parties" he gives in his villa in Sardinia and in Rome. Below second row, you can observe Oggi magazine of March 2007: Its cover story - with the title "Berlusconi's Harem" - is about one of these orgies. We will not reproduce the photos of another "party" reported by the Spanish newspaper El Pais because they are blatantly pornographic.
In addition, numerous prostitutes, call-girls, lingerie models and television show actresses claim to have had affairs with him, as exposed in Novella magazine, under the title "Ten obstacles for Lady Veronica" (referring to the divorce asked by Veronica Lario), third row. Some of these women have risen in the political arena, a pay-off from the old man. In a tape in which he allegedly requests jobs for some of them, Berlusconi referred to them as "my butterflies."
So, we have the clear picture of a man who is divorced, remarried and living a public scandalous life. One would say that to receive Communion, this man should officially end his liaison with Veronica Lario, express repentance for the scandal he has given, and make a life of penance to change his bad public image. None of this has happened.
For this reason, the video of Berlusconi receiving Communion is shaking Italy at this moment, and cries of "sacrilege" and "scandal" are common among the Catholic faithful.
The Church is divided on this scandal. On the one hand, there is Bishop Guiseppe Casale, retired Bishop of Foggia, who accuses Berlusconi of "a behavior that does not correspond to that of a Christian." Fr. Paolo Farinella of Genoa is also clear in condemning his action: "Berlusconi has committed sacrilege, given that he is already divorced and in process of getting a second one."
On the other hand, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the Pontifical Council for Life, affirms that since Berlusconi no longer lives with Veronica Lario, he would not fall under the category of divorced and remarried. Archbishop Gianfrancesco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the organ that deals with "great sins," also endorses this opinion. He says: "We hope that when Berlusconi received Communion he was in the grace of God, that is, that he had been absolved of his sins by a confessor. Receiving Communion without being in the state of grace is a sacrilege."
On April 19 Berlusconi attended a ceremony at the Italian embassy to the Vatican to mark the fifth anniversary of Benedict's election, where Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State, was present. The relations between the two were very cordial...
Posted April 25, 2010
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