Mafia ‘betray the gospel,’ Italian bishops say in rare rebuke

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Pope Francis shakes hands with the Rev. Luigi Ciotti, founder of the Italian anti-Mafia group Libera, at Rome's Church of St. Gregory VII on March 21, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

Pope Francis shakes hands with the Rev. Luigi Ciotti, founder of the Italian anti-Mafia group Libera, at Rome's Church of St. Gregory VII on March 21, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

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ROME (RNS) Bishops from the heart of Mafia country broke their silence and denounced organized crime, just two days after Pope Francis called for a "conversion" from the mob's sinful ways.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    Wow! I am blown away by the concept of a criminal organization having a patron saint! Can anyone help me understand that? What the what, catholics?? It’s claimed in this piece that these criminals have had a…”cozy relationship with the heirarchy”…It just now dawned on me that throughout the long history of organized crime throughout Europe AND the United States, most of the members of these organizations have in fact been catholics, especially the Italian and Irish mobs.I’m speechless with astonishment! What does that say about, among other things, the concept of so-called”baptismal regeneration”? What about the Mass, which presumably conveys new life, holiness of life, a sanctified, Christlike life? What is wrong with this picture, what is the source of such a huge disconnect?? I await a credible explanation from…well, ANYBODY who can explain this from the Roman Catholic perspective.

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  • Superstition, poverty and fear are all made worse by religion.

    Catholicism has never worked to stop the Mafia EVER because its superstitious nonsense feeds the problems – injustice, classism, poverty – which breed crime.

    Catholic superstitions prevent women’s rights and gay rights. Combined, that is 60% of the population. that leaves the power in the hands patriarchical men with connections. The Mafia is a part of that.

    Religion poisons society and stunts it options. Well meaning priests are clueless – a rise of secularism is the long term solution to crime. Women’s emancipation alone would repair a lot of this. Not because men are evil, but because the church preaches the superstitions which grant men too much of the power.

    Diminish religion and things get better.
    It works almost everytime.

  • MEBuon

    It is a matter of justice to confront those who practice violence, fraud, corruption and the news that Pope Francis is “going after” the Mafia is a long-awaited development.

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