Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Funeral of Nazi War Criminal Is Halted in Italy; Police Prevent Entry to Church Due to Protesters

The funeral of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke was called off near Rome in Italy at the last minute yesterday by his lawyer, after he said police prevented friends and family members from attending amid a noisy protest against the planned memorial, the France 24 website reports today (October 16, 2013).

Shouting "murderer" and "executioner," hundreds of people jeered as Priebke's coffin arrived for the funeral Mass to be celebrated by a splinter Catholic group opposed to the Vatican's outreach to Jews.

But Priebke's lawyer, Paolo Giachini, said the funeral did not take place "because authorities did not allow people to enter who wanted to come in." The casket remained inside.

Since Priebke's death on October 11 at the age of 100, debate has raged over what to do with his remains. Pope Francis' vicar for Rome refused him a funeral in a Catholic Church and Rome's police chief backed him up, citing concerns for public order. Where he will be buried remains unresolved.

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