One of the biggest news stories to come out of Italy recently deals with history, religion, and death. Earlier this week a former Nazi who participated in massacres died in Rome, while on house arrest. While his funeral was in progress, there were many protestors that took the street and caused the funeral to come to a halt. The citizens protesting were shouting “murderer” and “assassin” while kicking the vehicle that carried the man, named Erich Priebke. This enraged many people that this man was given a funeral in their town. This man has been shunned out from everywhere. The diocese in Rome, his hometown in Germany, and adopted home in Argentina all refused to give this guy a place to rest, after his death. A group of Roman Catholics (Society of St. Piux X) who reject the modernizing of the religion took in Mr. Priebke and were moving forward to deal with his arrangements after death. This group has its own issues with the Catholic Church who has made efforts to bring them together, but then backed off after ridiculous statements by their bishops a few years back. This event brought much attention and action from the people in Rome and there was a calling for them to settle down. The main idea is that this is a controversial topic among the people in Rome, who have strong feelings about this situation and weren’t holding anything back this week during the funeral. It is an unfortunate event all around but also interesting to see how it is going to be handled.
I chose this news article because it is an interesting cultural comparison. I first heard about it on the radio and decided to look more into it when I heard people were reacting the way they were. Though I understand the fury in the protestors and the anger they have, I found it interesting that they were actually kicking and punching the hearse in the streets. I am not forming an opinion on this situation, but I am looking at this through the difference in cultures. I never heard or witnessed in the U.S. a funeral being postponed because of a protest attacking the funeral parade. It is interesting to see how different things go on in different cultures. I have heard of protests at funerals in the U.S. which have been peaceful, and there is anger here for even that. I am trying to imagine the reaction from people here if something like this went on in a similar circumstance. It seems that in Italy people are able to express anger more freely, whether those actions are right or wrong. I am not judging or analyzing the reaction of the Italian people because this is a very sensitive and serious circumstance. It is just interesting thinking about this reaction.