Italian Comic’s Comedy of Errors

Fr. Lombardi of the Vatican Press Office
Fr. Lombardi of the Vatican Press Office


The Italian comic Andrea Rivera’s recent outburst against the Church because of its stands on euthanasia, evolution, and contraception has caused a reaction from L’Osservatore Romano. Fr. Lombardi, from the Vatican's press office, responded to Rivera's accusations saying, "The statements ... are of a worrying superficiality, but their gravity is not superficial."     

At a televised May Day rock concert, Italian comedian Andrea Rivera launched an attack on the Pope for allegedly opposing evolution. His routine also included attempts to joke about the Catholic Church’s teaching on the use of condoms.

Rivera’s main complaint about the Church was that it chose to not provide a Catholic burial for euthanasia activist Piergiorgio Welby. This past December, Welby, who suffered from muscular dystrophy, committed suicide by having a doctor remove him from his artificial respirator.

On Wednesday, after the Vatican Newspaper L'Osservatore Romano strongly criticized Rivera in an editorial column, the comedian apologized and said he "did not intend to offend any person or religion."

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