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Sacristan Detained in Priest's Poisoning

February 26, 2000|From Times Wire Reports

A parish priest in Sicily was in critical condition after sipping sacramental wine spiked with herbicide. His sacristan was under arrest. Police Maj. Giuseppe D'Agata said the Rev. Alfio Pappalardo, 66, collapsed at the altar after sipping the Eucharist wine during Mass on Thursday night at the Basilica of Pedara near the city of Catania. D'Agata said the sacristan, 53, was arrested after police found a bottle of herbicide at his home. The wine was spiked with the same kind of herbicide, D'Agata said. The priest and the sacristan had been at odds over the latter's benefits, D'Agata said.

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