Italian screen siren Monica Bellucci's naked and pregnant pose on the country's edition of Vanity Fair magazine has infuriated The Vatican.

The PASSION OF THE CHRIST beauty and her French husband Vincent Cassel are expecting their first child in the autumn (04).

Bellucci decided to strip off as a protest against the new Italian laws, which allow only married couples to use in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and prohibits the use of donor sperm.

In the magazine, Bellucci rages, "Over here, if you aren't married with all the proper rubber stamps, they stop you using science to have a child.

"Religious and ethical dogmas have prevailed upon common sense. This kind of legal obstacle is not so different from the physical limitations that women have long endured.

"In Muslim countries women are forced to cover their heads and keep silent. In Italy, they are prevented from asking the help of science to become mothers, unless they are married."

The Holy State's newspaper L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO fumes, "The child who will be born is no longer a human being to protect in the womb, but becomes the unwitting accomplice of a sad game."

06/08/2004 03:05