Italian politician backs The “See Change” Campaign

November 27, 2000

Marco Pannella, an Italian parliamentarian, has announced his support for the campaign to change the “state” status of the Vatican, especially as it relates to the United Nations.

Pannella's statement came days after European deputies of three Dutch parties launched a campaign calling on the European Union to cut diplomatic ties with the Vatican. The Dutch deputies argue that the Vatican wields too much political power compared to other religions, blocking decision-making in international organizations on issues such as AIDS prevention and women's rights.

"Not even at Mecca, the church is a state, even though some Islamic countries are confessional countries," said Pannella, 70. "It is about time that we too start reforms to immediately disband and convert the Vatican City State." Pannella said the Dutch move was a reminder that the Vatican was "using the holy water sprinkler to bless the baton ... against science, conscience, democracy and tolerance, if not worse: against the lives of millions of people."

The politician is one of the founders of the Radical party which includes former European Union commissioner Emma Bonino among its members.