Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pope Francis Excommunicates Italian Mafia Members in a Public Mass

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Pope Francis has outrightly challenged the Italian Mafia members, saying that they are excommunicated from the Catholic Church. This is the first time a Pope has spoken of excommunication for the Mafia. The Pope spoke during an outdoor Mass with a crowd of over 100,000 in Calabria, Italy on Saturday.

"Those who in their life have gone along the evil ways, as in the case of the mafia, they are not with God, they are excommunicated. They must be told, No!"

Earlier in his one-day visit, Pope Francis had "met with relatives of a 3-year-old boy, Nicola Campolongo, who was the victim of an alleged Mafia hit in January. Nicknamed Coco, the boy was with his grandfather when they were both shot and their bodies subsequently burned in a car."

Thereafter, the Pope denounced the local mafia, called 'Ndrangheta [an international crime organization with an annual turnover of $72 billion from cocaine trade], as an example of "the adoration of evil and contempt for the common good."

This is not the first time Pope Francis has spoken out against the Mafia, in March in Rome at a meeting with families of victims, the Pope called directly on Mafia bosses to repent, saying;

"hell ... awaits you if you continue on this road."

In southern Italy, the Mafia are known to attempt to portray themselves as upstanding religious men in good rapport with the Catholic Church, in order to maintain local credibility. So the pope's remarks are very welcome.

However, some anti-mafia prosecutors are worried the Mafia may target Pope Francis. Nicola Gratteri, a prosecutor in Calabria, told CNN.

"The strong will of Pope Francis, aiming to disrupt the gangrene power centers, puts him at risk. He disturbs the Mafia very much." 

1 comment:

  1. This Pope never ceases to impress. He's such a reformer.


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