Berlusconi joke about Jews draws criticism from Vatican newspaper
By John Thavis
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican newspaper criticized Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for telling a "deplorable" joke about the Jews and the Holocaust.
Berlusconi, chatting with supporters outside his home, told a joke about a Jew who charged a fellow Jew 3,000 euros a day to hide him in his basement during World War II.
Berlusconi's punch line was: "The Jew says, the question now is whether we should tell him Hitler is dead and the war is over." The joke was videotaped and posted Oct. 2 on the website of the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica.
The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, said the story "offends both the sentiments of believers and the sacred memory of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust."
It said the prime minister's words were a "sad" example of the uncivil language being used increasingly in politics and public life, a trend recently condemned by the Italian bishops' conference.
The newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference, Avvenire, said Berlusconi's joke was "offensive and inexplicable."
Berlusconi's office issued a statement saying the joke was told in private, and that the responsibility for bad taste belonged to those who publicized it.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Rome: Joke "offends both the sentiments of believers and the sacred memory of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust"
Such 'Holocaust' piety. Rome now functions primarily as porch-priests of the 'Holocaust' museum. They've abandoned the Gospel like the White House and Congress abandoned the U.S. citizen-cameraman who the Israelis executed in international waters. They're kapos.