April 7, 2001 |
Whenever Pope John Paul II lectures the faithful about respect for the environment, the right to life or anything else on his mind, a forest of transmitters on Rome's northern outskirts beams his words in 40 languages to Vatican Radio listeners around the world. Now it's the Vatican's turn to get lectured. Italian officials charge that those potent transmitters emit illegal levels of electromagnetic radiation, and neighborhood activists claim that they are killing children by causing leukemia.
June 18, 2000 |
The archbishop of Naples went on trial Saturday in a massive loan-sharking case, accused of appropriating a fortune in church funds. Cardinal Michele Giordano is the highest-ranking church official in Italy to stand criminal trial. At Saturday's hearing, charges against six of the 19 defendants were dismissed, including those against the cardinal's brother, Mario Lucio Giordano.
February 26, 2000 |
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.
December 24, 1993 |
A senior Roman Catholic cardinal admitted Thursday that the Vatican bank had handled $62 million in bribes alleged to have been paid to Italian political parties by the Ferruzzi family industrial empire. Cardinal Rosario Castillo Lara, head of a Vatican commission that oversees the work of the bank, which is called the Institute for Religious Works, said in a newspaper interview that the bank had not known how the money would be used.
October 11, 1993 |
Mafia members can marry in the church, but they must keep it quiet. A statement from the Conference of Italian Bishops on Saturday said the Roman Catholic Church cannot prohibit mobsters from taking wedding vows. But it urged them to limit the ceremony to family members and keep high-profile figures and celebrities off the guest list. "A useless waste of money offends the poor," the bishops wrote.
September 3, 1991 |
In the name of God, American missionary priests and reclusive Italian nuns have fought one another for six years to win control of one of Rome's oldest churches. Anonymous phone calls and baroque bureaucratic manipulation became the battleground of a war that escalated at its most fevered into an ecclesiastical street brawl. Now, the bitter and embarrassing struggle between religious orders seems almost over. The Americans think they have won.