The Italian branch of a Catholic sect with a history of anti-Semitism held a funeral on Tuesday for a convicted Nazi war criminal, despite protests from Jewish groups and the local mayor.
Crowds packed the streets outside San Pio X Church in Albano, a small town south of Rome, chanting “Executioner!” and kicking the hearse carrying Erich Priebke’s body as entered the church compound on Tuesday.
A funeral Mass was celebrated for Priebke but his casket was kept outside, according to a priest from the church who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The “absolution” rite, which includes a prayer for clemency for the deceased, was also given outside the church, in the courtyard inside San Pio X’s compound.
Priebke’s body is now being held in a military airport outside Rome.
The church funeral plans for Priebke sparked an outcry in the United States.
“Erich Priebke was…
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