Vatican Officials Convicted Over Radio Broadcasts
Criminal Prosecutions, "Electro-Smog" and Capone
On the basis of inconclusive and suspect science, two Vatican officials have been convicted of causing cancer in one of Rome's northern neighborhoods, via the Holy See's radio transmission towers.
Italian officials even violated Vatican City's sovereign status as an independent state to convict Cardinal Roberto Tucci and Father Pasquale Borgomeo, after a previous judge correctly found the Vatican Radio towers to be Holy See property and part of its national territory.
Cardinal Tucci and Father Borgomeo were given 10-day suspended jail sentences and could be liable for millions of euros in fines, according to the BBC.
This is proof positive that European eco-kookism has now infected every level of society. When did things get this out of whack?
Imagine a Canadian judge, convicting Americans for violations of their law occurring on US soil and it becomes clear this is outrageous and illegal.
Apparently in Europe, all one needs is a scientific study to support a viewpoint and it's as good as law. But studies indicated the Vatican's transmission towers might be responsible for higher than average cancer rates, so nothing's been proven.
That in turn kicked off several years of international sparring over the facility.
I wouldn't want American NIMBYs to find out about this case, because it could set a dangerous precedent. Can you imagine every radio station being sued out of existence because of unproven cancer hysteria?
A Marin County news blackout may be necessary.
Italians near the Vatican's towers report substantial interference with devices, even lamps. But this type of "bleeding" is common anytime residences are located near broadcast transmission facilities. Hearing a radio station on your phone line does not necessarily mean you're at a higher risk of cancer than the next neighborhood.
If scientists can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Vatican's radio towers are responsible for a cancer cluster, then it should become an international diplomatic issue, not a domestic criminal matter for overzealous Italian authorities eager to score points with local NIMBYs.
Worse, the Vatican says it's in compliance with international treaties on the use of transmission towers, in what is part of its sovereign territory.
I'm really surprised this hasn't generated much news in America, one would hope the Bush Administration would object in the strongest possible terms, to this blatant disregard of the Vatican's international status.
Perhaps the Vatican will have to learn what's good for it, considering the head of the residents' association is named Raffaele Capone.
(BBC News World Edition- Europe- Staff Report- 10 May 2005)
Two scientific studies have suggested a field of Vatican Radio broadcasting antennas north of Rome may have caused high rates of cancer in the area.
The first, in 2001, found that magnetic fields around the transmitters were much higher than normal limits allow.
The giant masts beam news programmes worldwide in 40 languages.
A first trial was stopped in 2002 when a judge ruled that Italy had no jurisdiction over the radio station because it was part of the Vatican City, an independent sovereign state.
But that decision was later overturned and Cardinal Tucci, the station's president, and Rev Borgomeo, its director general, went back on trial.
"After so many delays and so much wasted time, today we have achieved an important success which underscores the need to protect people from the risk of 'electro-smog'," said Roberto Della Seta, chairman of environmental group Legambiente, after the verdict.
Raffaele Capone, who heads a residents association in the Cesano area, said: "We hope that it will be removed from our territory so that we can finally live in peace."