Thursday, November 14, 2002

Update on the Holy Father's speech before the Italian Parliament:

Mafia boss surrenders, inspired by seeing Pope on television.

A fugitive Mafia boss facing 30 years in prison for murder surrendered Thursday, saying he was inspired by Pope John Paul II's historic speech to Italy's parliament, the suspect's lawyer said. Benedetto Marciante was particularly taken by the pope's comments on family values, lawyer Roberto Tricoli said. Marciante surrendered at a Rome prison. "In 30 years of practice, I've never experienced anything like this," Tricoli said from his office in Palermo, Sicily. "It's a miracle." Tricoli quoted his client as saying the pope's comments, which were broadcast live Thursday on Italian state television, awakened his own religious beliefs despite the "adversity" facing him.

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