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Papal nuncio to testify about failed negotiations in 1978 kidnap-murder of former Italian premier?

March 09, 2015

Pope Francis has reportedly authorized a Vatican official to testify before an Italian parliamentary commission investigating the murder of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro.

Moro was kidnapped in 1978 by the Red Brigades, and murdered after several weeks in captivity. He had been a personal friend of Pope Paul VI, who pleaded for his release. During the days leading up to the discovery of his body, Church officials had sought to negotiate with the kidnappers.

Archbishop Antonio Mennini, who is now the apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, was a priest in Rome at the time of Moro’s abduction. He reportedly found his way to the place where the former Italian leader was being held, and heard his confession before he was killed. As a Vatican official, he was protected by diplomatic immunity, and could not be required to testify about the case.

However, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera has reported that Archbishop Mennini now has been cleared by the Pope to speak with the investigating commission, disclosing what he knows about the efforts to obtain Moro’s release and the reasons why they failed.

 


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