What do Kim Jong Il, Pope Benedict XVI, and the Italian President have in common? Tell a joke about them to the wrong audience and you could end up in jail.
While it is not clear that the Vatican is supporting this, the Italian government is planning on prosecuting Italian Comedian Sabina Guzzanti for telling a dirty joke about the Pope’s afterlife. I will not repeat the joke here because not only is it tasteless, it isn’t funny. Suffice it to say that it raised the ire of Italian prosecutor Giovanni Ferrara, who accused her of “offending the honour of the sacred and inviolable person” of Benedict XVI.
This follows on the heel of a July rally against the Vatican’s involvement in Italian political affairs, attempting to influence legislation.
Lest you think this is something new, the Rome prosecutor is relying on the 1929 Lateran Treaty between Italy and the Vatican, which stipulates that an insult to the Pope carries the same penalty as an insult to the Italian President.
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