Pope to Italian gangsters: Church will welcome you back if you stop serving evil

The Italian mafia makes over 53 billion euros a year from drug trafficking.

By REUTERS
February 23, 2015 15:35
1 minute read.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis gives the thumb up as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Pope Francis urged members of Italian organized crime groups on Saturday to repent, saying the Catholic Church would welcome them if they promised to stop serving the cause of evil.

He spoke during an audience at the Vatican for pilgrims and anti-crime activists from the southern region of Calabria, home to the 'Ndrangheta, mainland Italy's equivalent of the Sicilian Mafia.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


"Open your hearts to the Lord. The Lord is waiting for you and the Church will welcome you if your willingness to serve good is as clear and public as your choice to serve evil was," he said.

When he visited Calabria last June, he accused organized crime groups of practicing "the adoration of evil" and said members had excommunicated themselves from the Church by their actions.

The 'Ndrangheta, which makes most of its money from drug trafficking, has spread from Calabria to northern Europe and North America. A 2013 study by Demoskopia, an economic and social research institute, estimated the 'Ndrangheta's annual turnover at some 53 billion euros in 30 countries, equivalent to about 3.5 percent of Italy's total official economic output.

It has been much harder for investigators to combat than the Sicilian Mafia because its structure is more lateral than hierarchical and its tightly-knit families are harder to penetrate.
sign up to our newsletter

Related Content

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein visiting an IFCJ-sponsored medical clinic in Amman that treats Christian refu
August 15, 2018
Protecting the persecuted

By RACHEL COHEN