London, Apr 22 (ANI): The Catholic church has accused Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of committing "sacrilege" by taking communion despite having divorced his first wife and being on the verge of second divorce.
The Roman Catholic Church prohibits divorcees who remarry from taking communion.
However, Berlusconi was accorded the privilege at the funeral of a well-known Italian television celebrity in Milan.
But, the leverage for the Italian premier has set off a heated debate between Catholic figures across Italy, with a priest in Genoa calling it a scandal.
"Berlusconi has committed sacrilege in the light of the fact that he is divorced and is in the process of getting divorced again," the Telegraph quoted Father Paolo Farinella as saying.
He accused the Church of making one rule for the rich and famous and another for ordinary Catholics.
A former bishop from the southern region of Puglia, Monsignor Giuseppe Casale, said the 73-year-old premier should not be permitted to take communion because he had shown himself not to be "coherently Christian" with his behaviour.
The criticism was a veiled reference to the sex scandals, which engulfed the prime minister last summer. (ANI)