The joke that was the decision to press charges against satirist Sabina Guzzanti – in poorer taste than any of Guzzanti’s ‘vulgar’ jabs at Italy’s ruling classes (Vatican included) – has been shelved by justice minister Angelino Alfano.
The Italian press, which in its own topsy-turvy way seems to take more offence at satirists like Guzzanti and Beppe Grillo for their coarseness than at a Political class that has produced the Napoli waste scandal and the Alitalia mess, has widely reported Alfano’s statement regarding the case, made at the Catholic University of Milan
“Notwithstanding the grounds for proceeding in regard to Sabina Guzzanti, I’ve decided not to give authorisation knowing well the depth and capacity of forgiveness of the Pope that prevails over the offences themselves”
One would presume then that a speedily written clause can be introduced to the Italian penal code, taking account of the Pope’s profound capacity for foregiveness, that will strike out the absurd crime for which Guzzanti was to be prosecuted – affording Italian citizens the right enjoyed by most European Citizens, and by all American Citizens – catholics included – to say whatever the hell they wish about Papa Ratzy.
What’s interesting to note is that the papers all carry Alfano’s humanitarian gesture with absolutely no independent legal opinion regarding the merits of the case. It’s a given, for them, that the case has merit and that Alfano has shown some leniency. A good example is the front page of La Repubblica which carries a photo of Guzzanti under the headline “Alfano Saves Guzzanti”.
Guzzanti has reported on her own site, however, that her legal advice is that the case simply doesn’t hold up, and thus to proceed would not only make the government subject to international criticism* but would ultimately be doomed to failure.
If this is the case, it’s not Guzzanti that’s being let off the hook, but rather Alfano and the Italian Government.
*The case has already had a high profile, even cropping up on American daytime tv when Whoopi Goldberg mentioned it during a transmission with John McCain.
1)”Nonostante il parere favorevole sulla procedibilità – ha spiegato Alfano – nei confronti di Sabina Guzzanti, ho deciso di non concedere l’autorizzazione ben conoscendo lo spessore e la capacità di perdono del Papa che prevalgono alle offese stesse». Il ministro della Giustizia ha quindi aggiunto che la decisione è stata presa anche perchè «la Guzzanti si è assunta le responsabilità di ciò che ha detto. La stagione delle riforme impone di spegnere i focolai e di non appiccare nuovi incendi».” – La Stampa – 11th September