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Sicilian priests threatens communion ban for racists

A priest in Sicily has threatened to ban racist parishioners from receiving holy communion at his masses, a local newspaper reported last week. Fr Emanuele Casola, the parish priest in the central Sililian town of Ribera, warned his congregation at Sunday mass that he will withhold communion if they did not rent available housing to migrant Tunisian workers.

"Rent your houses to Tunisians or you will not have the right to communion," La Sicilia newspaper quoted him as saying.

The surrounding region is temporary home to a number of migrant agricultural workers, mostly from nearby Tunisia.

"If you refuse your houses to Tunisians, you are not applying the Christian message and therefore you do not put yourself in a position to welcome Jesus in Holy Communion," the priest said.

"I find Don Emanuele's threat a little heavy handed, but we're used to this kind of thing from our priest. He's a tough character," explained the town's right wing mayor Giuseppe Cortese.