The Italian church is dissolving its links to the mob

Source: The Economist

The mutual tolerance of the 1970s and 1980s is at an end

TO ALL appearances, this was a final disentangling of the disreputable connections between the church in southern Italy and organised crime. When a Sicilian mobster known as the “boss of bosses” died in prison last month, a spokesman for the Italian conference of bishops said it would be “unthinkable” to give him a public funeral.

Ultimately, said the spokesman, Salvatore “Totò” Riina would be judged by God, but the church had a clear duty to set a proper public example, and colluding with lavish obsequies for this multiple killer would have amounted to the very opposite. In the end Riina was given a private funeral in his home village of Corleone, which gave its name to the central family of “The Godfather”, a classic novel and film.  A local priest gave a blessing.


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