A senior church figure in southern Italy has added another transgression to the list of sinful activities: environmental destruction.
The Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, yesterday said that polluters could not receive communion.
The reasons for his comments are clear. Campania, the region in and around Naples, is one of the most polluted in the country. The local mafia, the Camorra, stands accused of encouraging the closure of incineration plants in order to fan demand for its illegal dumping services.
Every night north of Naples, hundreds of small fires burn in fields as Camorra gangs torch waste in their multi-million-Euro business, releasing poisonous fumes into the atmosphere.
“Those who pollute are not in the grace of God and cannot take communion,’’ Cardinal Sepe told journalists at the 10th International Forum of the Christian environmentalist group Greenaccord in Naples.
‘’Our people have to be told the truth about what has happened. It is time for everyone to unite and continue to free our earth of poisons,’’ he added.
Last year research suggested that women in the Naples area were almost 50 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer than their compatriots.
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