ROME (AP) — The Catholic Church in Rome is strongly condemning a funeral procession outside a local church in which the casket was draped in a Nazi flag and mourners gave the fascist salute.
Photos and video of the scene outside St. Lucia church following the Monday funeral service were published by the Italian online news portal Open.
They showed around two dozen people gathered outside the church as the swastika-draped casket emerged, shouting "Presente!" with their right arm extended in the fascist salute.
In a statement Tuesday, the Vicariate of Rome strongly condemned the scene and stressed that neither the parish priest nor the priest who celebrated the funeral, knew what was going to transpire.
In the statement, the church called the Nazi flag “a horrendous symbol irreconcilable with Christianity,” the Associated Press reported.
According to Italian news outlets, the AP reported, the funeral was for a 44-year-old former militant of an extreme right-wing group who died of a blood clot over the weekend.