ITALY: Saintly Requisition

To his admirers, Florence's bustling, bespectacled little Mayor Giorgio la Pira is a latter-day Francis of Assisi. Not only does Giorgio sometimes talk to the birds and the bees; he lives in a monastery cell, and often gives the clothes from his back, the food from his plate and money from his flat purse to the poor (TIME, June 7). A Christian Democrat, he broke the Reds' grip on the Florence city administration four years ago. Some of his fellow Christian Democrats, however, shudder at where his charitable philosophy sometimes takes him.

Last week Giorgio la Pira turned his attention...

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