Parish priest urges boycott of Metropolis

The incident concerns Torre Annunziata (Naples) where the newspaper had reported the “inexplicable stoppages” of the procession. The prosecutor is investigating.

The parish priest of the basilica Ave Gratia Plena of Torre Annunziata (Na), Don Raffaele Russo, threatened to invite the faithful to “no longer buy the Metropolis newspaper”. The priest is alleged to have said it (as reported in an article by Raffaele Schettino, editor of the magazine) in front of a small group of people. Then, Don Russo reiterated the threat in a phone call with the journalist Giovanna Salvati, author of the Metropolis article that had irritated him.

On the 22nd October 2019 Giovanna Salvati reported that, on the occasion of the feast of the patron saint of Torre Annunziata, the painting of the Madonna della Neve, carried in procession had made some suspicious “stops”, once it arrived in the Quadrilatero delle Carceri, a neighbourhood where numerous members of the Gionta clan live, many of whom have criminal records. The stops had been so numerous as to induce the police chief of the city Claudio De Salvo, who followed the procession, to ask for no more stops to be made. In addition, an investigation of these “stops” was begun by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Giovanna Salvati, the journalist, and a photographer followed the procession and recorded the exchange between the parish priest and the police commissioner, documenting what had happened in the newspaper. The following day – Salvati told Ossigeno –“the parish priest called me saying that we had published inaccurate news, and specifying that he would no longer buy Metropolis. The same day – added the journalist – I informed the police station of Torre Annunziata by telephone of the incident and the following day, October 24th , I was called to the police station to provide a statement.”

SUGC and UNCI got involved on the case, asking the bishop to intervene over an incident that they consider very serious.

“The newspaper I edit – concluded the chief editor Schettino – is exposed to constant attacks, we are held up as ‘enemies of the community’, of the area; there is a climate that leads to a distrust of journalists “.

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