Reflection on Crime

From the Daily Telegraph today:

The Vatican has held its first trial for drug possession, sentencing an employee to four months of “reflection” after he was caught with 87 grams of cocaine in his desk drawer.

The Court of the Holy See made the judgment despite the there being no specific law in the Vatican against drug possession or use. The employee, who has not been named, has also been fired from his job with the Pontifical Commission of the State of Vatican City.

Gianluigi Marrone, a Vatican judge, said drug use was “damaging to the health, morality and religion” and the court was able to sentence the offender “thanks to the international convention on drugs which the Holy See has signed”.

Cocaine-laced wine was a favourite tipple of Pope Leo XIII, who died in 1903.

I could not find any actual statutes of the Vatican, other than the Fundamental Law of the State of Vatican City. I translated that from Italian with Google.  I thought Google might have the easiest time with Italian. It wasn’t very clear, so I tried German and between the two I got the general idea. As best I can tell, laws are passed by a commission of Cardinals appointed by the Pope to five-year terms.

I don’t know if they have any criminal laws, but given the case above, perhaps they should consider passing some drug laws, lest the St Peter’s Square becomes a tiny haven for drug transactions.

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4 Responses to Reflection on Crime

  1. Michael says:

    And what do you suppose prompted the inclusion of the little note about Leo XIII?

  2. yucca says:

    just to note that at the end of the document they refer to Jesus as (im translating from italian):

    Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

    too much star wars, dont you think? 😉

  3. Dave says:

    I think they added the bit about Leo for two reasons: first, it was the only other reference they could find to cocaine and the Papacy and second, it adds a bit of scandal about the Vatican. even though it wasn’t illegal at the time.

    Jesus has been King of the Universe long before Star Wars. As Orthodox we start all of our prayer offices with “Oh Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things.”

  4. Michael says:

    Many Jewish prayers begin with “Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe …”

    Looks like Coca-Cola had a bit of cocaine in it until 1904 – See here.

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