Pope Francis declared today that mobsters are “not with God,” and are excommunicated from the Catholic Church. From CNN:
Using his strongest language to date, Pope Francis told Italian Mafia members on Saturday that they are excommunicated 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,” Francis said in an outdoor Mass in Piana di Sibari, Calabria.
It is the first time a Pope has spoken of excommunication for the Mafia. Excommunication, which excludes Catholics from the church, can be imposed by church authorities or incurred automatically for certain grave offenses.
Reuters reports (via Newsweek):
Pope Francis, visiting a stronghold of one of Italy’s most dangerous crime groups, on Saturday comforted the jailed father of a three-year-old boy killed in an ambush and condemned mob violence against children.
Francis flew by helicopter to the town of Cassano All’ Jonio in the southern Calabria region, home of the mafia-style ‘Ndrangheta which investigators say has spread around the world.