Advertisement

Vatican rips 'deplorable' Berlusconi jokes

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, pictured at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland April 12, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, pictured at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland April 12, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

ROME, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- The Vatican has condemned Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for telling what it said were blasphemous, anti-Semitic and sexist jokes.

An editorial critical of the prime minister's jokes appeared in Sunday's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. It came a day after the Italian Catholic bishops' newspaper, L'Avvenire, said Berlusconi needed to show more respect, CNN reported Monday.

Advertisement

The Catholic newspapers were responding to videos posted online showing the prime minister telling jokes about the Holocaust and a female opposition politician, and employing a common but blasphemous curse, "pig god."

All the jokes seem to have been made in fairly private settings and recorded on cellphones or similar devices.

The editor of L'Avvenire, Marco Tarquinio, wrote Saturday that it doesn't matter when Berlusconi made the jokes.

L'Osservatore Romano said Berlusconi had apologized for the Holocaust joke but it still denounced him.

"The head of the government's jokes appear more deplorable" and "offend indiscriminately the feeling of the faithful and the sacred memory of the 6 million victims" of the Holocaust, the newspaper wrote.

Latest Headlines