« Persepolis causes controversy in Cannes | Filmstalker | Makhmalbaf film halted by grenade attack »


Church and Italian Politicians argue over BBC documentary

VaticanCity.jpgIran is not the only country involved in controversy over a film, for a political debate has started in Rome about the showing of a BBC documentary about the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests.

The documentary, Sex Crimes and the Vatican, was shown on the BBC in October but not in Italy and examined Vatican documents which detailed the procedures on how to deal with general abuse of the confessional by priests in order to silence the victims. Although the document was written in 1962 it was updated in 2001 to deal with specific incidents of paedophilia.

Bishops in Britain criticised the BBC for the documentary saying that they should be...

"...ashamed of the standard of the journalism used to create this unwarranted attack on Pope Benedict"

Interestingly the documentary has appeared on the Italian Google Video site and is the most popular video there, but that has too attracted harsh comments. Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian Bishops Conference, said that those who put the documentary on the Internet were spreading "infamous slander", whatever they mean by that.

Meanwhile the politicians are bickering over whether to show it in Italy or not. Here's how some of the comments carried in Reuters from the different political wings show the differing views.

A conservative politician said that the TV station RAI should block the documentary because he said it was part of...

"a media execution squad ready to open fire on the Church and the Pope"

Mario Landolfi, head of the Parliament's oversight committee for the broadcaster, asked RAI director general to deny permission to show the documentary while Michele Santoro, a journalist who could be said to be more to the left, wants to show the film.

"Neither the oversight committee or individual politicians have the right to ask for a preventive censorship of any journalists or topic," said Giuseppe Giulietti, a parliamentarian who was once a journalists' union leader at RAI.

Giovanni Russo Spena and Gennaro Migliore are two politicians who want the film shown, they issued a statement to say that...

"paedophilia in the Catholic Church is well known, there is no mystery about it"

The accusations are flying back and forth at the moment, and it is clear that it is fast becoming a freedom of speech issue. If everyone had kept quiet and let the programme be aired I'm quite sure there would have been less controversy than there is now, and than there is going to continue to be.

There's no doubt that the programme will be shown now, and it will gather press reports galore and bolster the viewing figures. Something the politicians and the Roman Catholic Church should have thought of before condemning the documentary and trying to have it banned.



Well yea, the same thing happened with the DaVinci Code, in that, the movie wasn't even that great and the book was just ok, but, the Vatican makes a huge deal and tells people not to read it, and bam its a bestseller.

I'll keep my personal opinions about this issue and the organized Christian church, which are not favorable to say the least, to myself.

I hear you xpgeek and I'm with you too.


Add a comment


Site Navigation

Latest Stories



Vidahost image

Latest Reviews


Filmstalker Poll


Subscribe with...

AddThis Feed Button

Windows Live Alerts

Site Feeds

Subscribe to Filmstalker:

Filmstalker's FeedAll articles

Filmstalker's Reviews FeedReviews only

Filmstalker's Reviews FeedAudiocasts only

Subscribe to the Filmstalker Audiocast on iTunesAudiocasts on iTunes

Feed by email:


My Skype status


Help Out


Site Information

Creative Commons License
© www.filmstalker.co.uk

Give credit to your sources. Quote and credit, don't steal

Movable Type 3.34