Italian bishop urges political 'morality'

GENOA, Italy, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Italy's top Catholic bishop has called for greater morality in politics amid a growing number of political scandals in the country.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, head of the Italian Bishops Conference, spoke at a mass in Genoa during a religious festival honoring the Madonna della Guardia, Italian news agency ANSA reported Monday.


"The moral issue in politics, as in every area of public and private life, is serious and urgent not only regarding individuals but also structures and organizations," Bagnasco said.

His remarks come as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is on trial on charges he paid for sex with an underage prostitute and abused his power. He also faces fraud and corruption charges in three other trials.

Several other top Italian politicians are also facing bribery and corruption charges.

"We need to have a major cultural and social debate," Bagnasco said.

"Those with particular responsibilities, at whatever level, and those with powerful economic interests, have a compelling duty more than others through their work to put forward cultural models that are certain to become prevalent."

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