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Vatican 'accepted one billion lire' to bury criminal chief in Basilica next to former popes

Rome , Mon, 30 Apr 2012 ANI

Rome, Apr 30 (ANI): The Vatican is facing controversy and ridicule over reports that it accepted one billion lire from widow of a notorious criminal chief to allow his internment in the Basilica next to popes and cardinals over 22 years ago.

A source at the Holy See said that "despite initial reluctance" the then vicar-general of Rome, Cardinal Ugo Poletti, in greed of such a huge sum, allowed the controversial interment of Enrico De Pedis, the former chief of Rome's notorious Magliana Gang.

According to the Independent, the money was reportedly used on missions and to restore the Basilica of St Apollinare, where the mobster was laid to rest next to popes and cardinals after his death in 1990.

The claims may explain how such a criminal was buried in such a holy place, The Independent reports.

Pressure has mounted on the Church after a prosecuting magistrate, Giancarlo Capaldo, claimed that senior Vatican offcials knew much more than they have admitted about the Magliana Gang's links to the Holy See.

The Vatican, under heavy scrutiny after a set of scandals, has denied the claims and has hinted that investigators will be able to witness the re-opening of the crypt, in a bid to rubbish all rumours.

It is likely that the body of De Pedis will be moved to a less high-profile place to rest, which will be decided at a meeting. (ANI)

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