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Catholic Church condemns swastika-draped casket at Rome funeral

A picture made available by the Italian online news portal Open, showing people gathered around a swastika-covered casket outside the St. Lucia church, in Rome, on Monday, January 10, 2022. (Open Via AP)
A picture made available by the Italian online news portal Open, showing people gathered around a swastika-covered casket outside the St. Lucia church, in Rome, on Monday, January 10, 2022. (Open Via AP)

The Catholic Church in Rome strongly condemns as “offensive and unacceptable” a funeral procession outside a local church in which the casket was draped in a Nazi flag and mourners gave the fascist salute.

Photos and video of the scene outside St. Lucia church following the funeral service yesterday were published by the Italian online news portal Open. They show around two dozen people gathered outside the church as the swastika-draped casket emerges, shouting “Presente!” (“Present!”) with their right arm extended in the fascist salute.

In a statement, the Vicariate of Rome strongly condemns the scene and stresses that neither the parish priest, nor the priest who officiated the funeral, knew what was going to transpire outside after the funeral Mass ended.

It calls the swastika-emblazoned Nazi flag “a horrendous symbol irreconcilable with Christianity.”

“This ideological and violent exploitation, especially following an act of worship near a sacred place, remains serious, offensive and unacceptable for the church community of Rome and for all people of good will in our city,” it says.

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