From The Universe, December 19, 1986
A cat lover has accused a cardinal and high-ranking Vatican officials
of "condemning to death" the Holy See's 50-odd vagrant felines.
Lidia Anelli Sbaraglini formally filed a complaint last week at Rome
Magistrates' office, causing consternation on both sides of the "border"
between the city-state and Italy.
She has named as the "cat sentencers": Cardinal Biaggo, President of
the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State; Archbishop
Macinkus, Co-president; The Marquess Giulio Sachetti, Special Delegate;
and Vittorio Trocchi, Secretary-General.
The magistrates now have to request special authorisation from the
Italian Justice Ministry to proceed with the complaint because the
Vatican is regarded as a foreign state.
The plaintiff has been advised that it may be difficult to uphold a
claim of death-sentencing, or any verdict against cats.
For several years, Miss Sbaraglini has taken daily hampers of goodies
for the cats which roam the Vatican gardens and streets. Allegedly
without explanation, her passcard to the Vatican was annulled without
warning two weeks ago. "The cats will starve without me," she claims.
A Pontifical Social Communications Commission official commented:
"The matter is ridiculous".
Reproduced with thanks.
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