The parish priest, the Reverend Giancarlo Manieri, said he had no control over what happened outside the church and that inside the funeral was celebrated normally, the Ansa news agency reported. (…)
On Thursday several commentators noted the irony that a reported mob boss was allowed an elaborate funeral at the church while the Archdiocese of Rome refused to allow a funeral at the same church in 2006 for Piergiorgio Welby, then the symbol of Italy’s right-to-die movement.
Welby, who had muscular dystrophy and was unable to eat, speak or breathe on his own, got his wish to die in December 2006 when a doctor disconnected his respirator. His case split the overwhelmingly Catholic nation but the local church defended its decision to deny him a Catholic funeral, arguing that allowing it would have legitimised attitudes contrary to God’s law.