Friday, December 25, 2009

Berlusconi to Pope: my government has Christian values

Premier Silvio Berlusconi has written a Christmas letter to Pope Benedict XVI saying Christian values guide his government's work.

It's the latest evidence that the premier, who has been beset by sex scandals this year, is taking an increasingly pious tone as he eyes Catholic voters in this majority Roman Catholic country.

The letter follows a new Berlusconi mantra "Love conquers hatred and envy," and his pardon of the man who assaulted him, breaking his nose and two teeth.

Berlusconi's conservative forces have a solid majority in parliament, but his purported dalliances with a prostitute strained relations with the Catholic Church.

His recent overtures come amid talk of a new centrist party to challenge Berlusconi made up of pro-Vatican politicians.

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