Nazi war criminal denied Catholic funeral in Rome
Churches unite to turn away unrepentant WWII officer
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
- Eric J. Lyman for Religion News Service
- October 16, 2013
Catholic churches here have joined government officials in three countries to deny a public funeral for Erich Priebke, the unrepentant Nazi war criminal who died at age 100 in Rome last Friday (Oct. 11).
Priebke, an SS captain accused of war crimes for his role in the execution of 335 men in 1944 near the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome, has been refused burial space in Rome, his adopted country of Argentina, and his hometown of Hennigsdorf in Germany.
On Monday, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Pope Francis’ vicar of Rome, prohibited any church in Rome from hosting Priebke’s funeral.
Paolo Giachini, Priebke’s lawyer, lobbied to hold a private funeral in some Rome churches but was reportedly rebuffed.
“It would be inappropriate to host a funeral for a man guilty of such atrocities and who never expressed regret even though he had many opportunities to do so,” said the Rev. Alessandro Bianchi of Nostra Signora della Consolazione, one of the Rome churches approached for the funeral.
Newspapers reported the funeral would likely be held in an apartment that Giachini owns behind the Vatican, where Priebke lived under house arrest for the last 15 years.
Full Story: Nazi SS captain denied church funeral in Rome
Source: Religion News Service