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.