More cult trouble for Panorama

A Panorama documentary investigating sex-crime cover ups by the Vatican, the headquarters of a Christian sect known as Catholicism, has been blocked by Italy’s public broadcasting corporation, RAI.

On Saturday the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire branded Sex Crimes of the Vatican as “fit only for the dustbin” and said the producers “should bow their heads and ask forgiveness”. The head of the RIA parliamentary committee, urged the director general not to allow the screening because to do so would turn the public network into an “execution squad read to open fire on the church and the pope”.

The documentary caused protests when it was shown in the UK last October, prompting Cardinal Cormac “Vile Hypocrite” Murphy-O’Connor to complain to the BBC’s director general.

UPDATE: (May 23) Reuters reports that the documentary will go ahead in Italy on the condition that the Church is given a right to reply. This is not enough to satisfy Mario Randolfi, the right-wing politician heading the censorship campaign. He calls it a “Pontius Pilate solution”:

This will permit a media trial against the Catholic Church

He did not explain why if the Church is innocent it should be worried by a “trial”.

“Sex Crimes of the Vatican” is currently the number 1 download from YouTube Italy. Well done Mario Randolfi!

UPDATE (June 1) RAI aired the documentary last night, to protests from the usual quarters.

3 Responses to “More cult trouble for Panorama”

  1. Marc says:

    I suppose we’ll have to feign surprise now…

  2. Thanks Italian bishops! I wouldn’t have known that the programme was worth watching if you hadn’t moaned about it!

  3. Martin says:

    The publicity surrounding the bishops censorship will do as much damage to the church in Italy as ignoring the programme or downplaying it. Most Italians will already be aware of the conduct of the catholic church in the US.