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Interior of a church in Germany
Interior of a church in Germany
Florian Flade and Kristian Frigelj

MUNICH — It began nearly a year ago, on the weekend after Christmas. On Saturday night, unidentified individuals broke into a church in the Cologne district of Porz-Urbach. They broke open the safe in the sacristy and got hold of the key to the church. They ended up stealing money from the collection boxes, liturgical vessels, bowls and a monstrance. They weren’t able to get their hands on the Christmas collect because it had already been removed from the church.

In the following months, numerous churches in the greater Cologne area were broken into. Sometimes the thieves stole money and all manner of valuable objects in broad daylight. The police investigated and clues pointed to the possible involvement of Salafists who intended to use valuable holy objects from the churches to financially support jihad in Iraq and Syria. The suspicion was later confirmed by undercover investigations.

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Mariateresa Fichele

"Dottoré, I know you’re going to say I’m superstitious and strange, you always give rational answers ... but I have to ask you a question: Is it true that ever since our stadium was renamed after Maradona, Napoli doesn't win at home anymore?"

"So?"

"Could it be that Saint Paul, to whom the stadium was initially dedicated, got offended and is making us lose now?"

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