Politics, faith, and the occasional corpse

Italian author Donna Leon is best known for her Commissario Guido Brunetti detective series set in Venice. This Sunday’s Boston Globe did an interview with her and she reflected on a variety of topics. In this interview she was harshly critical of the Vatican and said some pretty inflammatory things. An exerpt is as follows:

I try to avoid preaching. [My attitude to the Catholic Church] is shaped by the fact that I live in a country that is strangled politically by the church. Its iron grasp is firmly around the throat of the Italian government. So it’s hard to be sympathetic to it in any way, as an institution. The general feeling among my friends is “My God, what did Italy do to deserve to have both the Vatican and the Mafia?” Most Italians don’t take it very seriously, of course. The church baptizes you, marries you, buries you, that’s it. But there is a good priest in this latest novel.

Most of what she says is foolish and insulting but is she right about her insinuation that most Italians don’t take the Church seriously…has Italy been that secularized like the rest of Europe?


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