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Satirist Finds the Pope Is Off-Limits

Posted on Sep 11, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Out of bounds: Italian actress Sabina Guzzanti may face jail time for her provocative joke about Pope Benedict XVI. 

Jokes about religion often play with the boundaries of tolerance and taste, but they don’t always carry the consequences that Sabina Guzzanti now faces. The Italian actress could go to jail for upsetting the powers that be with a satirical zinger about the pope and two gay devils.

Sabina Guzzanti, a popular actress and comic, had joked at an anti-politics rally that Pope Benedict XVI, known for his hardline views on homosexuality, would “go to hell and be pursued by two big, gay and very active devils”.

Rome’s prosecutor Giovanni Ferrara said he wants to start proceedings against her for “vilification” of the Pope under article of 313 of the penal code. Ferrara said that the offence caused by her comments went beyond satire.

He has officially asked the justice minister, Angelino Alfano, for permission to start proceedings. Guzzanti is also under investigation for breaching article 278 of the penal code, which allows the courts to sentence people to five years if found guilty of “offending the honour” of the Pope or the Italian president.

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By Thomas Billis, September 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Offending the honor of.The dog should be in jail.His conduct during the pedophile scandal as Pope John Paul’s underboss was criminal.They are going after the wrong person.By the way making fun of the honor of the Italian president is like trying to hit a moving target.Since WW2 I think every man over 30 has been either Prime Minister or President of Italy.They laugh about “Turkishness"and the prosecution of Turks who criticize their government and then they go midevil when it is their guys.

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By nosmokes, September 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
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why is he worried about what a mere mortal comic may say about him?

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By BCC Meteorites, September 17, 2008 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

I’ve said much worse things about the Pope and the catholic church. I guess i should be prosecuted as well. I think the real crime here is a person should be charged with trying to impersonate the dress and mannerisms of Liberace while simultaneously trying to be a role model for being with clean hands.

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By dick, September 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
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If the Church had the power, many innocent people would be burned at the stake. Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do it from religious conviction.(Pascal).

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By Leefeller, September 17, 2008 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

What would happen if we all dressed like the pope?

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By Davis Fleetwood, September 17, 2008 at 6:15 am Link to this comment
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Well, I guess my movement to Impeach Jesus, see , would not have gone over wel in Italy.

Glad to be in America. Free - for now.


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By Tony Wicher, September 16, 2008 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Hurray for Sabina Guzzanti! She sounds really funny, and now she’s world-famous!

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By Eso, September 15, 2008 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

In his speech in Paris the pope said people must accept death (as quoted by AP): “at the hour chosen by God”. Is not the disobeyance of this order by the Cathars of Lanquedoc that brought the Inquisition and its rules of what to do and not to do and in case the rules were not obeyed a fiery death at the stake? Let us remember that when they the Cathars were ready to die, they took consolation (Consolatum)from one of the perfecti, stopped eating, and the community came to say good bye. I believe that the Cathars accepted death with dignity and in harmony with the laws of life. In any case, to follow the instructions of Benedict XVI is to deny death political significance and leave it to the princes of the world. Beating up on euthanasia at this catastrophic age is like the driver who beats his horse knowing that everyone will stand by in shock and not know what to do. Lourdes, Lordes! Is this Catholic shrine not in the area that used to be Lanquedoc, Carcassonne, Montsegur, and other ssuch places where so many Cathars were burnt for their heresy and the Catholic Legate, one Romano of S. Angelo, was the one who decided their “hour chosen by God”? Yes, it is long ago, about 1208 and for decades thereafter, but we ought to help the Pope in his excavations.

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By NinoBaldino, September 15, 2008 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
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Freedom is what…I used to tell my students its at the end of your closed fist and the tip of my nose! The last Leader of the RCC was shot several times and had to spend the rest of his life in daily pain and it is hardly surprising that the secular not chuckling at this ‘comic’s’ saturday nite live wisecrack…must we all be silenced in our views if these views are not was Jesus Himself who when He answered re the coin and worship bit…He answered.“render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasars and to Gods that are Gods” that sealed His fate…a quick middle of the nite trial,changed accusations and charges..and pow,pow,pow…to be hoisted up onto and nailed to the crossbeam of a cross!Jesus,victim of being un-PC…thus the Pope will always be un-PC thats his the small print!!!!

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By oh me oh my, September 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment
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Good thing she didn’t make a joke about Mohammed! Then she’d REALLY be in trouble with no one to defend her.
That which creates, fosters intolerence is evil; religion is evil.

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By lichen, September 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

How disgusting!  I’m glad I don’t live in Italy, and I hope this actress has a way to escape the demagoguery of this disgusting hypocrite and the right wing judicial system that props him up.

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By Eso, September 14, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

In his speech in Paris the pope said: “Has not our modern world created its own idols? Has it not imitated, perhaps inadvertently, the pagans of antiquity, by diverting man from his true end, from the joy of living eternally with God?”

1. The “pagans” were nothing more than simple peasants. These agriculturalists were truer to the true end of man than the people who live in concrete canyons and know no way out.

2. The popes made crusades against and burnt at auto da fe all arch-Christians they could find (Cathars, Bogomils, the Children of Johns). The arch-Christians believed that John (Jesus is but a variation of that name) walked among men (as the sadhus of India still do), which was an unacceptable involvement in politics to the princes of the church. Jesus, as we know, was dismissed to heaven.

A renewed inquisition would be welcome, because then the evils perpetrated by the church would maybe be unearthed.

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By Jim Yell, September 14, 2008 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
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It seems peculiar that there would be such a law tracing back to the gangster Mussolini still on record in Italy. It is odd that a supposed Democracy would have such a law, what ever its orgins.

This might have the salutary effect of getting such a stinking, Fascist law off the books. It also gives the lie to Pope Benidict being an authority on anything to do with real life. The comment was much nicer than ones I could think of.

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By Dave24, September 12, 2008 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

The Pope and his minions can go to hell.  Wait a minute, “hell” is just an idea and exists only in the minds of men.  Actually, “hell” is the mental enslavement employed by scripture upon the meager minds of the masses.

“Religion: bringing people together in a world torn apart, by religion.”

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By Leefeller, September 12, 2008 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

What did the prosecutor find offensive?  The pope went to hell or there are big gay devils? Did she say anything about pedophiles? If you think about it, the name pope is funny.  Next, when Palin becomes queen, we will not be able to make jokes about her bad taste in fur rugs and stuffed animals in the White House.

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By dale Headley, September 12, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
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It appears that “The Inquisition” is making a comeback.

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By tres, September 12, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

She goes: “your Honor, the last Pope told me that was what happened, and will happen to this Pope.”

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