Church Accuses Berlusconi of Sacrilege

Divorced PM's taking of Holy Communion enrages priest, bishop
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2010 5:39 AM CDT
Silvio Berlusconi applauds outside a church after Italian showman Raimondo Vianello's funeral in Milan.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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(Newser) – The relationship between Italy's two most reliable sources of sex scandals appears to be on the rocks. A furious Catholic priest has accused controversial Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of "sacrilege" for recently taking communion at a celebrity funeral and breaking the church ban on sacraments for divorced people who remarry. The priest has lodged a formal complaint with the church, the Telegraph reports.

"Berlusconi transformed a funeral into a personal show," the priest said, accusing the church of having different standards for the rich and famous. A former bishop said that Berlusconi, currently in the process of divorcing his second wife, should be barred from accepting communion not only because his first marriage was never annulled, but because his womanizing proves that he's not "a coherent Christian."

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