Pope’s message to Berlusconi

London: With Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi getting embroiled deeper in sex scandals, the Pope has said that ‘public officials need to rediscover spiritual and moral roots’.

In a remark, which may have been aimed at Italy’s beleaguered prime minister, Pope Benedict XVI told an audience of police officers that public officials must "rediscover their spiritual and moral roots".

"A true Catholic listens to the pope and never uses him for his own ends,” the Guardian quoted Pier Ferdinando Casini of the Christian Democratic Union of the Centre (UDC), as saying.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state, echoed the Pope’s comment, “who urged public figures to be "committed to a more robust morality, a sense of justice and lawfulness".

However, the Italian premier reportedly told his cabinet that the comments were too vague to have been pointed towards him.

Berlusconi is formally under investigation on suspicion of paying a juvenile prostitute and then abusing his authority to cover up the fact. Ruby, a Moroccan runaway, was arrested by police in Milan last May.

Nadia Macri, a prostitute who told a television interviewer she had been with Karima el-Mahroug known as Ruby Rubacuori, said she was dancing topless and a bit drunk round a pole in a specially equipped room at Berlusconi’s home outside Milan.

Berlusconi and Ruby have denied having sex and there’s no evidence to support that they did, so Macri`s eyewitness evidence could, therefore, be crucial.

The Vatican’s stance could be crucial to Berlusconi’s chances of survival.