Pope Excommunicates Mafiosi

Pope Francis and Don Ciccio
During a recent trip to southern Italy, Pope Francis (PeekYou profile here), unflinchingly took on one of the country’s biggest criminal organizations.

The Ndrangheta, while not as well known in the states as the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, is the mob organization native to the Calabria region of Italy where the Pope was addressing a crowd of tens of thousands. While noted for his tolerance, this Pope did not take a soft position on this occasion, declaring unambiguously “Those who follow this evil path, as Mafiosi do, are not in communion with the church. They are excommunicated.” He added, “This evil must be fought against, it must be pushed aside. We must say no to it.” He went on to condemn the organization’s members for their “adoration of evil and contempt of the common good,” imploring the Church to do all it can to fight organized crime as it still exists.

“Our children are asking for it, our young people are asking for it. They are in need of hope and faith can help respond to this need,” he said.

In Catholicism an excommunicated member is barred from receiving the Eucharist, or partaking of any of the other sacraments until such time as they repent for the behavior that severed their ties to the Church. They are still allowed, and are in fact encouraged, to continue attending mass.

A visit to the Pope’s PeekYou profile will provide an opportunity to explore the Vatican’s (and his Holiness’) robust Web presence; taking the form, as it does, of websites, social pages, and a vast variety of media.