Groups banned after 'bowing' before Mafia boss house

During local patron saint procession

(ANSA) - Catania, December 4 - The Catania police commissioner has banned two organizing committees from participating in religious processions after some of their members performed a traditional public salute to a Sicilian Mafia family on Thursday, ANSA sources said. Plainclothes police officers observed participants carrying two elaborate statues of St. Barbara in a religious procession in the town of Paterno' as they stopped at the home of the son of an incarcerated Mafia boss from the Santapaola clan and swung the statues back and forth in a traditional homage to the family.
    They completed the gesture with a ritual kiss to demonstrate fealty, police said.
    "The incident is a clear show of intimidation typical of Mafia power," said Police Commissioner Marcello Cardona.
    "It gave rise to conduct that is prejudicial to maintaining public safety and order".


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