An ornate hearse pulled by six, black-plumed horses, carries the body of Vittorio Casamonicato by a Roman Catholic basilica in the Rome suburbs, where a funeral Mass was celebrated August 20, 2015. Casamonica, 65, the head of a notorious Rome crime family, was given a lavish funeral on Thursday, with a helicopter dropping red rose petals on mourners and a brass band playing the theme tune from the "Godfather" movie. Picture taken August 20, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Stringer *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-MAFIA-CATHOLIC, originally transmitted on August 24, 2015.
ROME (RNS) In the days following the funeral, the church tried to distance itself from the spectacle, with Auxiliary Bishop Giuseppe Mariante stating church officials did not know the ceremony would be accompanied by “Mafia propaganda.”