BEIRUT (AP) — The body of Monsignor Hilarion Capucci, the former Greek Melkite Catholic archbishop in Jerusalem who was exiled to the Vatican for his pro-Palestinian activism, has arrived in Lebanon where he will be buried.
A native of Aleppo, Syria, Capucci died in Rome on Jan. 1 at the age of 94. A funeral is expected Monday.
Appointed in 1965 as the Bishop of Jerusalem, Capucci was convicted in 1976 of using his diplomatic status to smuggle weapons from Beirut to the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Sentenced to 12 years, Capucci was released and deported after two years following intervention by the Vatican.
He tried to return in 2009 aboard a Lebanese aid ship defying Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israeli vessels intercepted the ship and towed it to Israel's Ashdod port.
This story has been corrected to show that Capucci tried to enter Gaza on board a Lebanese aid ship in 2009, not a Turkish aid ship in 2010.