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Bell-ringing priest cleared of charges
Sabbionara, Italy - An Italian court ruled a priest who garnered complaints from neighbors with frequent early morning bell-ringing was practicing religious freedom.
Don Ernesto Villa, who was accused by neighbors of ringing the bells at his church in Sabbionara every 15 minutes beginning at 7 a.m., was cleared of a disturbing-the-peace charge Wednesday, ANSA reported Thursday.
The court said Villa was exercising his religious freedom and the bell-ringing is protected by the Concordat of 1929 agreement between Italy and the Vatican.
Lawyers for Sabbionara residents had argued the bell-ringing was not a necessary component of religious practice.
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