Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Pope: No More Mafia Worship At Easter
Barbie Latza Nadeau at the Daily Beast offers a piece on the Pope's continuing war against organized crime in Italy.
ROME — Last July, when the Catholic parishioners of Oppido Mamertina in Calabria dusted off the giant gilded statue of the Madonna delle Grazie for a saint’s day procession through the village streets, they did what they had done for years. They stopped in front of the house where 82-year-old Giuseppe Mazzagatti, a ‘Ndrangheta crime boss, was serving a life sentence on house arrest, to pay an unholy homage to a man been implicated in lethal crimes that have crippled the region. Videos of the procession show young men carrying the statue applauding in front of their idol’s home.
The act might have gone unnoticed, but a few weeks later, Pope Francis visited the area and was told of the practice by a regional bishop who found it “reprehensible.” Soon news of similar practices across Calabria in towns like San Procopio and Scido spread to the Holy See. The fact that the local cops and the priests of the dioceses led the processions made them even worse.
The Pope used the examples as an opportunity to tell mobsters they could no longer hide behind their faith. Instead, he said, they are no longer welcome in the church. “The ‘Ndrangheta is this: worship of evil and contempt for the common good. This evil must be fought until it goes away, you have to say no,” Francis told the local people. “Those who are not in this path of good, like the mafia, these are not in communion with God, are excommunicated."
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: