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Italian Catholic Editor Resigns After 'Defamatory' Gay Smears

Dino Boffo, editor of Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI), has stepped down after Vittorio Feltri, the editor of Il Giornale, a paper with ties to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said he was gay and the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Boffo Said Boffo: "My life, the life of my family and that of my newsroom have been violated in an act of sacrilege I had never thought imaginable."

The Times reports: "Mr Feltri, who is leading an aggressive 'counteroffensive' to 'unmask' critics of scandals in Mr Berlusconi's private life, had unearthed a 2004 incident in which Mr Boffo paid a fine for alleged telephone harassment of the wife of an unnamed man whom Il Giornale claimed had been his gay lover, adding that he was a homosexual 'known to the police for this kind of activity'. In Avvenire today Mr Boffo issued a detailed ten-point rebuttal of the allegations. He admitted being fined in a harrassment case, but denied suggestions of a homosexual relationship. The editor said he was resigning because of the damage to his family and newspaper by Il Giornale."

Feltri's actions were apparently in response to criticism by Boffo of Berlusconi's "immoral" lifestyle: "Massimo D'Alema, an opposition leader and former Prime Minister, said allegations that Mr Berlusconi had spent US election night last November with Patrizia D'Addario, a prostitute who has given magistrates alleged recordings of the encounter, were 'not gossip'."

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  1. It's hard to know which side I should laugh at first - the hideously corrupt Berlusconi, or the hypocritically closeted Boffo. In these circumstances, I have to side with Boffo - Italian politics is just a quagmire: ecclesiastical hypocrites on one side, sleazy con-artists on the other - and both sides are homophobic and racist... not to mention utterly incompetent when it comes to actually running the country. It's been like this for nearly a century.

    Posted by: Donovan | Sep 3, 2009 1:24:25 PM

  2. Glass houses, and all that.

    Posted by: Will | Sep 3, 2009 2:34:50 PM

  3. I'm sorry, if Boffo is straight, then why resign? (Though I've no love for Berlusconi, but you know, the trains are running on time!)

    I feel sorry for his children.

    Posted by: David R. | Sep 3, 2009 4:31:53 PM

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