RAI airs BBC Vatican docu 'Crimes'


ROME -- Italian pubcaster RAI on Thursday aired controversial BBC-made documentary "Sex Crimes and the Vatican," but did so as part of its "Annozero" current affairs program rather than in its own time slot.

Though the last-minute decision to air the docu, which casts light allegations of pedophilia among Roman Catholic priests, as part of "Annozero" served to dampen the publicity around the airing, the decision to broadcast it at all angered many within the Vatican and some opponents of the ruling government coalition.

"It is amazing that this government will let anything, no matter how insulting, be aired on RAI," said Massimo Binci, an opposition parliamentarian and a supporter of the Vatican.

The documentary aired in the U.K. in October. RAI acquired rights to broadcast it in Italy soon after. The acquisition sparked a debate over whether the program should be aired in such a highly Catholic country, home of the Vatican.