From BBC News:
'Italy's highest appeal court has ruled that married Italian women who commit adultery are entitled to lie about it to protect their honour. The court gave its landmark ruling after hearing the case of a 48-year-old woman, convicted of giving false testimony to police by denying she had lent her mobile phone to her lover.
The appeal court did not agree that she had broken the law. It said bending the truth was justified to conceal extra-marital relationships. In a predominantly Catholic country you might expect the courts to take a dim view of lying and adultery. But not in this case. It said bending the truth was justified to conceal extra-marital relationships.
The woman, Carla, who brought the appeal had lent her telephone to her secret lover, Giovanni, who then used it to call her estranged husband, Vincenzo, and insult him. Giovanni, the lover, was convicted of abusive behaviour in a local court, and Carla convicted as an accessory.
But the Court found that having a lover was a circumstance that damaged the honour of the person among family and friends. Lying about it, therefore, was permitted, even in a judicial investigation.'
What is it about these Catholic countries, who are technically the most repressive about sex - you can't even use condoms - yet in practice go to the other extreme in making allowances for it? Look at the way France has recently been celebrating their leader's affair with a supermodel, Carla Bruni.
And what is it about these Protestant countries where the US President gets impeached for covering up the fact that he had a blow-job off his secretary? And where, in the UK, you lose your job as a government minister if you get caught having an affair?
We have a new Puritanism. 49 years ago Nixon and Kennedy were visiting the same whorehouse while they campaigned to be President, and the press kept quiet. Roosevelt had a mistress. (These events preceded the so-called 'sexual revolution' of the 60s.) I'm not saying I'm at entirely at ease with this, but also things have changed, probably since Pluto passed through Scorpio from the mid 80s to mid 90s.