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Berlusconi Scolded By Catholic Church For Wandering Eye

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Times Online reports that the Catholic Church is the latest to scold Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for his interest in young, beautiful women.

Avvenire, the Italian Catholic daily, reprimanded the Prime Minister for his "self-declared weakness for actresses in the bloom of youth", and called on the 72-year-old billionaire to control himself.

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"We know that a man of the Government is judged by what he achieves, for his programmes and for the quality of the laws that he contributes to passing," it said. "But neither should the quality of a leader, his style and his values be inconsequential - they cannot be. We ask that the Prime Minister be more sober, sombre and a mirror of the country's soul."

Berlusconi is in the hot-seat after his wife, Veronica Lario, attacked him for his roving eye and threatened him with divorce. AFP reports that both have chosen the lawyers who will represent them in divorce proceedings.

Berlusconi has denied the suggestion made by his wife that he had a relationship with a teenager, the AP reports.

In a statement last week, Lario voiced public outrage over media reports that Berlusconi's political party was lining up TV showgirls and starlets as European Parliament candidates. She also lashed out at the premier's attendance at the 18th birthday party of Noemi Letizia, claiming he had never come to the coming-out parties of his own children.

Berlusconi said any suggestion that he had a relationship with Letizia was a "lie."

"If there was anything spicy or less than clean in the relationship between the premier and a woman younger than 18, wouldn't it seem crazy for the premier to go to a public function and be photographed all over the place?" Berlusconi asked on "Porta a Porta."

Letizia has been quoted as saying she calls Berlusconi "papi" or "Daddy" and has been photographed sporting a gold and diamond necklace the premier reportedly gave her as a birthday gift.


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