Mafia hitman prepares poison chalice for priest

poison chalice

A mafia hitman is being blamed for making a poison chalice for an outspoken priest. He is said to have mixed bleach with communion wine.

Father Felice Palamara (pictured) – who is known for bravely denouncing organised crime in his small town – narrowly missed drinking the lethal mixture when celebrating Mass last Saturday.

Fortunately, he smelt the bleach just before he drank from the poison chalice. He immediately suspended the Mass and called the police.

After investigating, the police found Palamara’s altar cruets of water and wine had been laced with bleach.

“I’m sure that this act of intimidation has nothing to do with my parishioners because I have been here for 10 years and I have always had good relations with the people of the parish” Palamara says.

“We don’t allow anyone to do harm to the parish. Nobody can stop a town that deserves redemption and that wants to grow.”

Mafia connection

The poison chalice attempt occurred in Cessaniti in the southern region of Calabria. That’s where the powerful ‘Ndrangheta crime network originated.

The ‘Ndrangheta is believed to be the world’s richest organised crime group.

It has made tens of billions of dollars from trafficking cocaine and has ties across Europe.

They are thought to be behind the string of threats and intimidation Palamara has suffered, including numerous death threats by post and email. His car has also been vandalised twice in recent months, he says.

Police are checking potential links to a dead cat found on the steps of a nearby church, and are trawling hours of CCTV footage of that church and Palamara’s.

“We aren’t sure whether it’s organised crime or someone with a grudge against the church, Satanists or just cranks but it’s being taken very seriously” a source says. The incident with the bleach could have had serious repercussions had Palamara swallowed it.

‘The most likely theory is organised crime and the local mafia but until we know for sure nothing is being ruled out and an open mind is being kept.”

Forgiveness rules

Local Bishop Attilio Nostro visited the parish last weekend. He is concerned for parishioners.

“The Diocese is … suffering because of these intimidating acts which have nothing to do with the Christian life of a parish.

“That is why I am appealing to the Christian community that they do not allow themselves to be discouraged by the violent language.

“We should not give in to this logic and be tempted by anger and discomfort. We must not respond to hate with hate as we know that it’s not possible to dialogue in this way.”

Palamara says he is not out for vengeance to punish his would-be assassins.

“My vendetta is love, my shield is forgiveness and my armour pity” he says.

“I’m serene, and besides offering pity and forgiveness, I hope that justice is done and there is clarity on these criminal episodes.”

Police have been assigned to give Palamara 24/7 protection until the case is solved.



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