Calabria: Accused Priest Intimates Silence to the Local Newspaper
ROME – Mr. Giuseppe Baldessarro, reporter for the daily Quotidiano della Calabria, has been strongly criticized in early January for having published the report of the hearing of a criminal case in which a well-known priest of Reggio Calabria, Don Nuccio Cannizzaro, has been charged with aiding and abetting a boss of the ‘ndrangheta.
Through his lawyer, who at first used calm tones, the priest’s request to not publish news concerning him became more pressing, defining himself a victim of injustice and media frenzy and expressing strong contempt for journalism. The story has been judged “paradoxical” by the Order of Journalists, which has expressed solidarity to the Quotidiano della Calabria. The newspaper, for its part, has rejected criticisms and pressures, standing by the targeted reporter and has published more news on the court case highlighting the priest’s false statements that would have benefited the neighborhood boss of the ‘ndrangheta who attends his church.
After the publication of the tapped recordings, Don Cannizzaro handed his resignation to the bishop of the diocese of Reggio Calabria, Vittorio Mondello. But these were rejected, and confidence was renewed to the priest until the final conclusion of the due process.