Shouting “murderer” and “executioner,” hundreds of people jeered as the coffin of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke arrived Tuesday for a funeral Mass celebrated by a splinter Catholic group opposed to the Vatican’s outreach to Jews..
The Diocese of Rome said in a statement that Priebke’s lawyer was asked to hold a “small, private” funeral in the Nazi war criminal’s home rather than in a church.
“The prayer for the deceased was not denied,” the diocese said in a statement, “but rather a different manner for the ceremony was decided.” Pope Francis is the titular head of the Rome diocese but has little involvement in its daily affairs.
Priebke’s lawyer rejected that proposition, according to the diocese.
Instead, the conservative Society of St. Pius X stepped in, agreeing on Tuesday to hold a funeral Mass in their church for the former Nazi. The society has no official status within the Catholic Church.
The Italian chapter acknowledged in a statement Tuesday that Priebke was “controversial” but said he had already been convicted by Italian courts and has the right to a Christian funeral. “A Christian who has been baptized and who has received the sacraments of the Confession and the Eucharist, regardless of what have been his crimes and sins, as he dies reconciling with God and with the Church has the right to have a Holy Mass celebrated at his funeral,” the group said in a statement.
The society also said that it “reaffirms our repudiation to any form of anti-semitism and racial hatred.” Source Read more