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Pope Francis Excommunicates Italian Mafia

Sara Newman |
June 22, 2014 | 9:31 a.m. PDT

Deputy Editor

In his latest move of papal boldness, Pope Francis officially excommunicated members of the Italian Mafia from the Catholic Church. 

"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," said Francis at an outdoor Mass in Piana di Sibari, Calabria.

After meeting with the father of a three-year-old boy killed in the cross hairs of a southern Italian drug war, Pope Francis whispered to him, “may children never again have to suffer in this way," according to a Vatican spokesman.

READ MORE: FBI Busts International Mafia Drug Ring 

While lives of murderous crime and religious devotion rarely go hand-in-hand, the Italian Mafia—particularly in southern Italy—tend to have strong family ties to the church, as any Hollywood Mafia movie can attest. 

While many people cower in fear of retaliatory actions by the Mafia, Pope Francis delivered the strongest papal attack on organized crime in nearly 20 years, condemning their “adoration of evil.”


Contact Deputy Editor Sara Newman here. Follow her on Twitter here



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