This January in Italy a three year boy and his grandfather were walking in the streets when they were hit by stray bullets. They are the victims of a organized crime organization and sadly this story is not surprising. There has been a huge a mafia influence in Sicily for years. This Saturday Pope Francis visited the family of this three year old boy. After his visit the Pope declared that ALL mobsters are excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.
The mafia organization named `Ndrangheta, is known for its global drug trafficking system and has a commanding influence in Italy’s Calabria region. They have operations that stretch as far as Australia and Germany, with an annual revenue in the range of $75 billion. The `Ndrangheta maintain an appearance of upstanding religious men in order to maintain local credibility. They pay for the Roman Catholic Church initiatives and the blessings of local priests who officiate at mob weddings, funerals and baptisms. Religious processions often stop in front of mafia leaders homes just to bless the ones living in it. During the Popes visit he denounced the region calling it an “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.” He also went on to say that “Those who go down the evil path, as the Mafioso do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated.” Pope Francis who is 77, has received many alleged mob threats from Calabria. An anti-mob persecutor had this to say: “For many years, the mob has laundered money and made investments with the complicity of the church,” noting those activities have become more difficult due to recent reforms. Numerous popes have denounced the mafia’s influence over the years while none have dared to excommunicate them. One Sicilian journalist commended the effort but also said “whether he can do anything about it, we’ll have to wait and see.”