The Italian Almanac

catholic funeral

Italia News - July 23

A priest has refused to give an Italian woman a Christian funeral because she had "lived in sin".

Father Giuseppe Mazzotta, parish priest at Marcellinara, in Calabria, southern Italy, said he had denied a Christian funeral to Maria Francesca Tallarico, who died of breast cancer at 45, because she had lived with her partner but never married him. Her partner was separated and had an 11-year-old daughter.

"She lived with her lover, so she was a public sinner," Father Mazzotta said. "I decided not to celebrate an official mass for this woman, who was not in communion with the church."

The priest's decision has underlined the growing power of conservative Catholicism in Italy but Father Antonio Sciortino, editor of popular Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana, accused Father Mazzotta of "excessive zeal".