Catholic World News

Convicted war criminal's funeral, scheduled at SSPX chapel in Rome, is not held

October 15, 2013

After the Rome diocese refused to allow a church funeral for Erich Priebke, a funeral for the convicted Nazi war criminal was held in a chapel of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) outside Rome.

The October 15 funeral for Priebke drew a crowd of protesters, with some shouting “murderer” as the coffin passed by, while counter-protesters gave the fascist salute. Police kept the two groups separate.

Priebke, who was convicted for orchestrating the killing of over 300 Italian civilians in the Ardeatine Caves, died last week at the age of 100. He had never disavowed his Nazi ideology.

CORRECTION: NPR reports that the Priebke funeral was "suspended" because the unruly crowd did not allow for safe passage of the casket. Priebke's remains were taken to an undisclosed location, possibly for cremation.

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 16, 2013 6:30 PM ET USA

    There is scandal here, as another post alleges, but we must be very careful not to confuse the issue. It is legitimate to criticize Kennedy's funeral, but it is anything but legitimate to hint or imply that therefore Priebke should have been afforded a public Catholic funeral. This is especially the case since a Vatican-based prelate helped this murderer (he shot two helpless prisoners with his own weapon), giving him false documents to escape to Argentina in the late 40s. Scandal indeed!

  • Posted by: New Sister - Oct. 16, 2013 3:26 PM ET USA

    He may have repented before he died; let us pray that he did.

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 16, 2013 12:35 PM ET USA

    And Teddy Kennedy is responsible for how many abortions, yet the Archdiocese of Boston allowed him to receive a Catholic burial - with the Cardinal in attendance to boot! Talk about scandal.