Monday, August 20, 2007

My new favorite Italian verb: Gongolare

It's in the title to Andrea Tornielli's latest blog entry: "Tasse: Bertone parla, tutti i politici gongolano" ("Taxes: Bertone speaks, all the politicians sound off" -- like gongs, that is).

It shouldn't come as a surprise to the ordinary American Catholic, but, yes, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone says you should pay your taxes -- render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. But not just for Caesar, the good cardinal said, but also "for the poorest and the weakest." ("Tutti dobbiamo fare il nostro dovere nel pagare le tasse, secondo leggi giuste e nel destinare i proventi di esse ad opere giuste e all'aiuto ai piu' poveri e ai piu' deboli". )

Apparently the Italians have a hard time understanding this concept. In fact, the majority of the Italian population commits tax fraud in some way or other. Although the impossible tax levels of a socialist state make this fact a little more understandable.

Romano Prodi had recently requested that the Church do her part in encouraging citizens to do their civic duty, and the press has been badgering Bertone and others ever since. While Bertone's answer was good, it unfortunately stole headlines from the Communion and Liberation movement's annual conference, at which Bertone spoke.

1 comment:

sp said...

I don't think "gongolare" should be translated as "sound off". It's a less "loud" expression of satisfaction, and gongs are not involved in the etymology of the word, which apparently comes from a Medieval game (although it's so onomatopoeic that I would have expected another origin- apparently someone suggested it came from the sound a certain bird makes through its throat).
Reading that Italy is a "socialist state" is pretty amusing.