Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Church ceremony for mafia couple sparks outrage

Le nozze d'argento del boss Lo Presti a San Domenico, Maria Falcone:  "Un'offesa a mio fratello e alla città"
A notorious Sicilian mob boss has celebrated his silver wedding anniversary at a church which serves as the final resting place for renowned anti-mafia prosecutor Giovanni Falcone, who was assassinated in 1992.

Tommaso Lo Presti, known as "the glutton" was recently released from jail after serving twelve years for mafia-related crimes. 

His wife, Teresa Marino, was herself convicted of managing her husband's illicit activities during his incarceration.

The pair held their vow renewal ceremony at the Church of San Domenico on 15th April.

The event has caused considerable embarrassment among the Catholic clergy in Palermo, who insisted they were unaware of Lo Presti's identity, Italian media have reported.

Fr Sergio Catalano, who officiated the Mass, expressed his ignorance regarding the couple's background, stating to Italian media: "How could I have known? It's not as if I can ask for an anti-mafia certificate from people who come to the church."

He learned of their true identities only through subsequent news reports and mentioned that the couple made a generous donation intended for those in need.

The incident has sparked discussions about the responsibility of churches in vetting individuals for ceremonies.