The mass was supposed to remember Rocco Sollecito, a mobster killed in Canada in May.
A priest wants to meet Pope Francis after he was banned from celebrating mass in memory of a mafia boss in the town of Grumo Appula, in the southern Italian region of Apulia.
Father Michele delle Foglie had invited the local congregation to church on Tuesday 27 December, to a service remembering mafia boss Rocco Sollecito, who was killed in Canada in May. Sollecito’s family had approached the local parish priest with the request for a memorial mass service, as is the religious custom in Italy.
Firstly, the police ordered the service to be moved to the evening and be treated as a private function, to prevent a breach of public order. The local archbishop subsequently ordered the service to be cancelled altogether, calling it a “serious scandal”.
The priest was reportedly frustrated with the intervention in what he deemed an interference with his authority as spiritual leader of the community. “I am thinking of appealing to Pope Francis so that he can receive me as a father welcomes a grieving son,” delle Foglie told local media, “The holy mass is not celebrated to honour the dead, is to remember the dead, and the more one has sinned, the more one asks for
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