Pope lambasts mobsters, says mafiosi "are excommunicated"
Saturday, June 21, 2014 - 01:09
Pope Francis excommunicates the mafia, condemning them as full of ''adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.'' Gavino Garay reports.
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Crowds gather in Piana di Sabari Italy to celebrate an open air mass led by Pope Francis.
The Pope issues the strongest attack on organized crime since the late Pope John Paul issued a stinging criticism against the Sicilian Mafia in 1993.
(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: (NB. SOUNDBITE PART OVERLAID BY SHOT 10)
"When the adoration of the Lord is substituted with the adoration of money, the road to sin opens and to personal interests."
The use of the highly charged word by a pope is significant because many members of organized crime in Italy see themselves as part of a religious, cult-like group, that take part in sacraments, and go to church
(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: (NB. SOUNDBITE PART OVERLAID BY SHOT 13)
"Those who in their lives have taken this evil road, this road of evil, such as the mobsters, they are not in communion with God, they are excommunicated."
A Vatican spokesman says the Pope's message was not a formal decree but a signal to members of organized crime that they had effectively excommunicated themselves.
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