History of Italy / Religion

Nazi officer’s funeral to be celebrated by ultraconservative Catholics

The funeral of Nazi criminal Erich Priebke will be celebrated this afternoon in Albano Laziale, near Rome, by the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, representing ultraconservative Catholic priests once led by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

The Fraternity enjoys an autonomous status and is therefore not bound by the order of the Rome Vicariate, which had forbidden Mr Priebke’s funeral.

Lefebvre’s followers had a hard time adapting to the rules introduced by the Second Vatican Council. They even broke their communion with the Holy See for some time, before being readmitted by Pope Benedict XVI.

A former member of the Fraternity, Bishop Richard Williamson, in 2008 put in doubt the commonly accepted Holocaust figures. Bishop Williamson is currently suspended a divinis and was expelled by the Fraternity in 2012.


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