Vatican, Nov. 21 (CWNews.com) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi visited Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) at the Vatican on Saturday, November 19. An official Vatican statement released after the meeting said that their talks had centered on "the mutual desire for collaboration" under the terms of the Lateran Accords.
Both the Vatican and the Italian government mentioned that the talks had revolved around the Lateran Accords. The mention of that agreement was probably deliberate, as a response to some Italian politicians who have floated the suggestion that the Lateran Accords should be revised. Statements by Church leaders on issues that are currently on the docket for Italian political debate-- [...] have prompted some lefist leaders to suggest revising the Lateran Accords in order to curb the political activity of Italian prelates and Vatican officials.
The Lateran Accords, signed in 1929, govern the relationship between Italy and the Holy See. Vatican officials have indicated that they see no reason to revise the agreement.
Read the complete article Berlusconi, Benedict XVI talk; support Lateran Accords from Catholic World News.
So certain members of the left in Italy want to put a muzzle on the Roman Catholic Church by revising the Lateran Accords. Does that strike anyone else as kind of tyrannical? Instead of debating your opponents and winning by the merits of your arguments, you'll simply 'revise' a treaty and silence your opponents...
By the way, there has been a lot of commentary floating around out there on the length of the prime minister's audience with the Holy Father. Perhaps it is without precedent for Benedict XVI, but keeping it in context, the two men certainly have a lot to talk about. The Vatican is in Rome and Rome is the capital of Italy and the Vatican's place as a city-state surrounded completely by Italy is pretty significant.