Mafia Don misses Mass


Peace, Love and Unity
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Another one I missed - but it's interesting to see how the Diocese attempted to get around the ethics of the issue of honouring a murderer - who was likely also a patron - by refusing one type of mass in place of another.

Church refuses funeral Mass for crime boss Gotti By Anthony DeStefano in New York
June 14 2002

The Mafia boss John "Dapper Don" Gotti has been refused a funeral Mass by the Catholic Church but can be interred in a church crypt, officials have said.

Instead of a Mass of Christian burial, Gotti, who is held responsible for at least five murders, will be allowed a Mass for the dead, a memorial service in which the coffin is not inside the church.

"The diocese has decided that there can be a Mass for the dead some time after the burial of John Gotti," said the Rev Andrew Vaccari, chancellor of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

"We felt it would be a more reverent, prayerful religious service without the body present," Mr Vaccari said when asked why the diocese decided on that particular service for the former head of the Gambino crime family.
Gotti's relatives had no comment on the denial of a funeral Mass and did not appear on Wednesday night for what had been billed as a family news conference.

Gotti, who died from complications of neck and throat cancer in a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Missouri, on Monday, is not the first mob figure to be denied a funeral Mass. Paul Castellano, the Gambino crime family boss whose murder Gotti orchestrated in 1985, was also not allowed one.

In Roman Catholic practice, a funeral Mass is usually conducted with the body present in a coffin. Incense and special prayers are also part of the service. A Mass for the dead could be celebrated for anyone who had died, at any time, Mr Vaccari said.

Allowing a Mass for Gotti without his body in the church appears to be a way for the diocese to get around the sticky problem of allowing a service in a house of worship for the man who once headed the country's largest organised-crime family.
am myself perplexed no end

Up to the present I am myself perplexed no end how mafiosi can be Catholics, and have their children baptized, and participate in processions, etc.; and continue yet to conduct their kind of business which to all appearances and consensus among observers are not in consonance with the good of society, but specially not also with their Catholic morality.

The possible excuse the Catholic Church can have in enlisting their presence or support is that they are the sinners-members of the church.

Members of the Catholic Church are composed also of habitual sinners, whom hopefully the Catholic Church will save at the last moment, in the last rites, if by God's grace they should happen to die in a situation where a priest can reach them, or they can still make their peace with God and their church, meaning they do not die a sudden instantaneous death.

Susma Rio Sep