Ciao Darwin, Addio Alberto

Just when you thought the catholic church and I had agreed,amicably, to differ and go our separate ways, news arrives of a local priest, Don Paolino (Little Paul), who has expelled one of his choristers from the choir and excluded him from all further church business. What grievous sin can Alberto Ruggin, the fresh-faced young man in the photograph, have committed?

He came out during a TV game show called Ciao Darwin, in which two groups compete to see which is better adapted for survival. In the past we’ve seen men up against women, so to speak, priests versus atheists, nurses versus doctors, fatties versus skinnies. As you can, it’s not exactly the Brains Trust, but it does have its moments. Last week saw a team of heterosexuals compete against a team of gays, including Alberto Ruggin. I didn’t see the programme myself, so I can’t imagine what was involved, but Don Paolino, no doubt attracted by the prospect of seeing so many perverts in one place, didn’t miss a minute. And there was his choir-boy and Sunday school teacher, all six sinful feet of him, parading his shame. The only word for it, as far as Don Paolino’s concerned, was ‘disgusting’. Followed by Fuori! Surprising? Not really. As my father used to say, What can you expect from a pig but a grunt?

Ruggin, in the meantime, seems to have devoted the last few years of his life to the parish and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, a party not renowned for its gay-friendliness. He could spend a few moments of his newly acquired free time to ask himself whether his energies might not be more profitably channelled into organisations that don’t regard him as a social pariah and sexual deviant.

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