Rome, Italy, Aug 31, 2023 / 16:00 pm
Pope Francis’ Diocese of Rome expressed its support for anti-Mafia priest Father Antonio Coluccia and praised his courageous pastoral work following an attempt on his life in Rome.
“On behalf of the Diocese of Rome, I express to Father Antonio Coluccia and the men of his bodyguard my full solidarity for what happened on Aug. 29 in the Tor Bella Monaca neighborhood,” read a statement signed by the vicegerent of the Diocese of Rome, Bishop Baldassare Reina.
On Tuesday, Coluccia was participating in a march on the outskirts of Rome for law and order and against the Mafia when a man on a motorbike drove toward him and, when he recognized him, tried to run him over. Trying to protect the priest, a member of his bodyguard was injured. In the midst of the confusion, the Italian police fired a shot that hit the assailant in the forearm.
Tor Bella Monaca is a neighborhood with a heavy Mafia presence and is plagued with drug trafficking. Coluccia has been fighting against drug addiction and crime since 2012, when he transformed a villa confiscated from the Mafia into a drug prevention community.