Elisa Claps, large crowd in the square against reopening of the Trinità church

It was closed after the remains of the student, who disappeared at the age of 16 on 12 September 1993, were found in the attic of the rectory.

Large crowd this morning at the demonstration organized by the city headquarters of Libera, in front of the church of the Santissima Trinità of Potenza, reopened for worship with religious celebrations. Several hundred people crowded and filled all the streets surrounding the church, in the historic center. The Holy Trinity was closed in 2010, after the discovery of the remains of Elisa Claps, the sixteen-year-old student who disappeared on September 12, 1993 and that it was there that she had last been seen. The autopsy confirmed that Elisa was stabbed to death by Danilo Restivodefinitively condemned, in the attic of the rectory, where the remains were found.

The Claps family has always asked the local Church to shed light on the silences and complicities that have taken place over almost 17 years and contests the reopening for worship. He also reiterated this in a letter to Pope Francis. The church was renovated and reopened in August, as a place for silent reflection and prayer. Religious celebrations began on November 2, the first was presided over by Archbishop Salvatore Ligorio who will shortly leave his episcopal office having reached the age limit of 75 years.

A huge crowd responded to the family’s and Libera’s appeal. The only flags, those of Libera. Someone showed up with signs, on one was written ‘Church of the Holy Omertà’. Furthermore, ‘Shame, shame’ was shouted by numerous participants who are in solidarity with the Claps family and who also would like the Holy Trinity to remain a place of remembrance and not a church with pastoral functions. Today’s large participation was welcomed positively by Gildo Claps, present at the demonstration, as a testimony of affection for Elisa and closeness to the family.

”We tried in every way to reach a conciliation, in every way. There is no way, there is total entrenchment. We simply asked that they take note, become aware of everything that happened and for once have the courage to apologize, for once” said Elisa’s brother Gildo Claps. ”The fate of this church will be decided by the city – he added – the large part of the city is rejecting all this. There has been a sort of collective reflection that is reaching my family in a strong and extraordinary way.” Harsh words again against the local Church. ”You have seen with how much arrogance they entered and with how much contempt they are perched indoors, in the dark, we are here in the light, Elisa’s light” he concludes.