Casa Don Diana named after murdered priest Father Peppino Diana

Gunfire at centre named after murdered priest

By Region News Southern Italy

On Thursday night gunshots rang out at a centre named after a murdered priest. He had been gunned down by the Comorra in 1994.

The shots were fired at Casa Don Diana, named after Father Peppino Diana killed by the notorious Casalesi clan.

Police reported they may have been fired from another building once owned by a local mobster. It is set to be turned into a property for socially useful purpose.

Who was the murdered priest Don Diana?

In the mid-1980s, Don Diana set up a welcome centre for African immigrants in Campania in order to prevent them being recruited by the Camorra. This was seen by the mafia outfit as a direct challenge to their business.

At Christmas 1991, the priest published a letter urging his parishioners to shun the Camorra. Entitled “For the love of my people I will not stay silent”, the letter called on the church to resist the Camorra’s rule. Diana called it a “form of extremism”.

He also denounced the Casalesi and their practices, saying: “Extortion that has left our region with no potential for development; kickbacks of 20 per cent on construction projects; illegal drug trafficking, which has created gangs of marginalised youth and unskilled workers at the beck and call of criminal organisations.”

Testified against the Camorra

In 1994, Diana also testified in an investigation of ties linking the Camorra, politicians and businessmen. This followed the Government’s decision to suspend the local council because of its links to the Camorra.

In addition, at church he threatened to stop administering sacraments to camorristi and refused to marry them.

Furthermore, he sided with the new mayor of Casal di Principe. The mayor was trying to prevent firms connected to the Camorra from tendering for public contracts.

On 19th March 1994, as Don Diana prepared to offer Mass for the feast of Saint Joseph in the Church of San Nicola di Bari in the town of Casal di Principe, he was shot twice in the head.

He was 35 years old.

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