Saturday, 30 June 2007

Naples Mafia drives priest out of city

The local Mafia in Naples has forced a priest who preached against crime to quit the city.

The Camorra, which masterminds a significant part of Europe's cocaine trade, threatened to kill Father Luigi Merola if he did not leave.

The final warning came in the form of a photograph of the priest with a bullet entering his mouth. Father Merola was in charge of the parish of Forcella, a violent neighbourhood in the heart of the city which is controlled by the crime gang. He has had a police escort for the past three years and last week, a 30-year-old man was shot just outside the priest's church.

Although he was popular in the area for his fight against organised crime, the local curia finally decided that it was too dangerous for Father Merola to remain. Read more

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