Italy’s spiritual leaders reject use of Nazi flag at funeral

(Reuters) – Italian Jewish and Catholic leaders described it as outrageous that far-right folks positioned a flag with a swastika on a coffin exterior a church after a spiritual funeral and carried out Nazi salutes.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese mentioned in a press release that clergymen on the parish of Santa Lucia, in a central Rome neighborhood, together with the priest who presided over the funeral, had no thought what was going to happen exterior the church on Monday.

nazi flag

An picture supplied by the Italian on-line information portal Open exhibits folks gathered round a coffin coated with a swastika exterior the Church of Santa Lucia in Rome, Italy, on Monday.

The photographs revealed on the web confirmed the coffin with the physique of Alessia Augello, a former member of the far-right group Forza Nuova, coated by the flag.

The diocese assertion referred to as the flag a “horrendous symbol that cannot be reconciled with Christianity” and mentioned the episode was an offensive instance of “ideological exploitation” of a spiritual service.

Police mentioned they have been investigating the incident as a attainable hate crime.

The Jewish neighborhood in Rome expressed their outrage that such occasions might proceed to happen greater than seven a long time after the top of World War II and the autumn of the Italian fascist dictatorship.

“It is unacceptable that a flag with a swastika can continue to be displayed in public in these times, especially in a city that saw the deportation of its Jews by the Nazis and their fascist collaborators,” the assertion mentioned.

Following a raid on Rome’s Jewish quarter on October 16, 1943, greater than 1,000 Jews from the capital have been deported, most to the Auschwitz loss of life camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Only 16 returned.

The assertion from the Jewish neighborhood on Tuesday mentioned the funeral incident was “even more outrageous because it happened in front of a church.”

An identical incident occurred in entrance of one other church in Rome in March final 12 months.

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