ITALY: Insult to the Pope

In a shabby courtroom* in the little town of Chieti last week, Laura Diaz, a young (30), comely Communist, stood charged with the crime of having publicly insulted the Pope. Under the 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Vatican and the Italian government, ratified in the republican constitution, insults to the reigning Pontiff are punishable by imprisonment or fine. The prosecution charged that at a 1948 electoral meeting in Ortona, Laura Diaz had said that the Pope's "hands dripped with the blood of the children of Greece and Palestine" because the Pope had not prevented wars in those countries and...

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