Priest Narrowly Avoids Poisoning In Suspected Hit Job

A priest was the target of a string of frightening acts, including someone substituting bleach during a church service in place of wine. The crime is now under investigation by the authorities.

While celebrating Holy Communion, Father Felice Palamara was about to drink from the cup when he sniffed a strong odor of cleaning solution and stopped himself.

He abruptly ended the ceremony in the church of San Nicola di Pannanconi, close to Vibo Valentia in southern Italy.

The authorities were notified, and the chalice was taken out to be examined. It was determined afterward that it contained a potentially lethal dose of bleach.

Father Palamara, who has been the parish priest for ten years and is beloved by his community, has been the target of numerous acts of intimidation and threats, including the latest bleach incident.

Someone destroyed his car and sent him multiple death threats via email and snail mail.

Father Francesco Pontoriero, a priest from a nearby parish, found a dead cat on top of his car, and the police are looking into potential links while also reviewing hours of church CCTV footage.

Investigators are looking into the incident being connected to organized crime, Satanists, people with a grudge against the church, or just random troublemakers. 

If Father Palamara had swallowed the bleach during the incident, it could have killed him. 

In a profoundly moving speech to his parishioners, Father Palamara reaffirmed his dedication to compassion, forgiveness, and love; his deepest wish is that these criminal occurrences will be solved and that justice will be served.

Until the matter is resolved, the authorities are providing him with protective services. 

While visiting the church over the weekend, the local bishop, Attilio Nostro, voiced his concern about the threatening activities occurring in the Diocese, saying that they are not in line with the Christian principles held by the parish. He encourages Christians to keep their spirits up in the face of such hostility.

He said people should abstain from returning hate with more hate.