Religious service for victims of mafia-style killings

1st October 2007, Comments 0 comments

1 October 2007, Duisburg, Germany (dpa) - A memorial service was held on Sunday for six Italians shot to death in a Mafia-style execution in the west German city of Duisburg.

1 October 2007

Duisburg, Germany (dpa) - A memorial service was held on Sunday for six Italians shot to death in a Mafia-style execution in the west German city of Duisburg.

Among those attending the evening mass in St Joseph's Church were Catholic bishops from Germany and Italy as well as relatives of one of the victims.

Also present was Father Pino Strangio, the priest of the Calabrian town of San Luca where the victims came from, and its mayor, Giuseppe Mammoliti.

The six Italians were gunned down outside a pizzeria in what police said was a settling of scores between two rival clans in the Calabrian crime organisation 'Ndrangheta.

Calabrian Bishop Giancarlo Maria Bregantini said the presence of the Italian clergy at the service was intended as "a sign of peace and reconciliation." It was necessary to continue on this path, he added.

Many in the congregation, which included large numbers of the Italian community in Germany's industrial Ruhr region, were visibly moved by the bishop's remarks.

Auxiliary Bishop Franz Grave from the diocese of Essen also called for reconciliation and said the killers must take responsibility for their actions.

"Revenge is the opposite of love," he said in reference to the slayings, which police believe were a reprisal for the murder of the wife of a clan leader in San Luca over Christmas 2006.

Police are still searching for the two killers who fled undetected after the killing the men while they were sitting in their cars in the early hours of August 15.

A minute's silence was held outside the church before the service began at 6 pm. Before that, the mayor of San Luca, Father Strangio and Bishop Bregantini lit a candle and prayed outside the restaurant where the killings took place.

The Da Bruno pizzeria has been closed since the shootings. The only reminder of the deadly night is a few flowers scattered outside.

DPA

Subject: German news

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