The images have shocked far beyond the simple framework of the Italian borders. At the end of a funeral ceremony for Alessia Augello (44), a former fascist activist of the Forza Nuova group, a swastika flag was displayed on her coffin.
The facts took place this Monday, January 10, just in front of the Church of Santa Lucia, located in the city center of the capital, Rome. Shot from a building next to the religious building, a 42-second video visible here also shows the procession surrounding the coffin performing a Roman salute.
As our colleagues from Le Figaro recall, it is this same gesture that the Italian neofascists made at the tribute ceremonies for dead militants. For the record, Benito Mussolini, founder of fascism, ruled Italy from October 1922 until the end of the dictatorship in July 1944.
The indignant Church
Strongly embarrassed in the face of this scene, the virality of which has grown on social networks, the Italian Church has multiplied marks of indignation. The parish priest Don Alessandro Zenobbi and the priest who officiated at the farewell mass themselves quickly issued a statement explaining that the incident had occurred without knowing it.
“We prayed and comforted relatives and friends (…) unfortunately for what was observed outside the church at the end of the celebration, it happened without any authorization from the parish priest, nor of the celebrating priest, both unaware of what was going to happen (…). We express our deep sadness, disappointment (…). The messages conveyed are far removed from the values embodied by Christ, ”they said.
The two men received the support of the diocese of Rome, whose bishop is none other than Pope Francis. “The Vicar of Rome firmly deplores what happened yesterday, in front of the parish of Saint Lucia, completely unbeknownst to the parish priest Don Alessandro Zenobbi, who happened without any sign or manifestation which could suggest what is happening. then happened, ”said the press release.
The daily La Repubblica reports that this is not the first time that this type of event has occurred in Italy. Thus, last March, this time it was the banner of the Mezzaluna (the half-moon), emblem of the “political movement”, a neofascist group born in the 1980s, which had been deployed.