A 70-year-old priest from Venice claims to have been attacked and threatened by a group of young migrants who became physically aggressive toward him after he confronted them about their bad behavior.
Don Roberto Trevisol, the parish priest of San Giorgio Martire di Chirignago, outlined his experiences in a church newsletter where he recounts how the migrant youths had constantly vandalized areas in and around the church, Il Giornale reports.
In the parish newsletter, he describes how he once was able to catch the migrant youths while they were in the process of vandalizing property. After catching them red-handed and admonishing them, he then attempted to detain the leader of the group until the police could arrive to properly deal with the situation.
Later that same day, after catching another gang of vandal youths, he was punched in the face by one of the gang members when he yelled at them to leave. While the youths were walking away, Trevisol claims that they hurled verbal abuse at him, calling him a “pedophile priest of shit”.
During the same encounter, one of the youths said, “But do you know that I come from Albania”, before he slapped the priest across the face twice, breaking his glasses in the process.
“Faced with these facts one can. One: Be happy and say, poor boys … Two: Be cowardly and look away … Three: Be determined to demand respect for oneself and for everyone, even if it means being threatened, offended and eventually beaten. I stand for the third option,” Trevisol added.
Earlier this year in January, a Greek-Orthodox priest was beaten by a group of Syrian migrants just steps from the front of his church in Athens, according to the Greek newspaper Proto Thema.
Recently, marauding gangs of youths – so-called ‘baby gangs’ – have become an increasing problem in Italy. In April, BBC News reported on an underage gang who tortured, beat and robbed a pensioner in 60s before finally killing him.
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