In a recent news article, a leading anti-mob prosecutor warned that Pope Francis may be at risk from the Italian mafia. The recently new Pope is well-known for his unusual leadership that he is bringing to the Catholic Church. He has been speaking differently about controversial topics and has handed down sanctions on bishops who extravagantly spend money. Now he is setting his sights on removing corruption from the Church. Those in the past who had “connection” to the Vatican are losing their economic power. Mafia members have benefited in many ways in the past form the Church. Some were given papal blessings and others enjoyed coffee with Bishops who were aware of the members killings and drug trafficking. Pope Francis stated in a sermon that corruption should be “tied to a rock and thrown in the sea” in reference to a passage from Jesus about sinners. The Pope has cited the destruction of the mafia in the past and is calling on them to repent. The mafia however, doesn’t like the new direction and is believed to be considering a “message” to the pope, according to the prosecutor. The prosecutors states, “if the godfathers can trip him up, they wold not hesitate to do so.”
The reason I chose this news article was because of how surprising this is to me. The Catholic Church is the last place I would think to be targeted by the mafia and especially the Pope. Given that the presence of the mafia isn’t as large or known in the U.S. this is something that is very shocking to me. I can’t say that I am surprised about the corruption in the Vatican, but this is something that we rarely hear about as Catholic in America. Im sure that Italian Catholics and everyday citizens of Italy are very aware of the corruption inside the Vatican. Maybe this is one reason why the number of practicing Catholics isn’t as large in Italy. The Church is put on a pedestal and is supposed to be clear of all evil, but this undermines the teaching of the Church. The presence and significants of the mafia in Italy is shocking to me because we are not used to that here. Im very concerned about the Vatican and their involvement or relationships to the mafia. This isn’t a good thing for the Catholic Church.