For decades members of the “alleged” Italian Mafia 🙂 have long portrayed themselves as religious men that follow the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Using the strongest language that is acceptable for the highest man of God in the Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Pope Francis excommunicated all members of the Italian Mafia and is also attempting to stop money laundering in the Vatican Bank.
Apparently, the right to excommunicate a member of the church is the right of the Pope or any other authority figure of the church, basically throwing them out of the church. It is the most severe thing the church can impose on its members for grave infractions.
Under Roman Catholic law excommunication is a “medicinal penalty” intended to motivate the person to change their behavior or attitude and repent so that they can return to the church. I bet it is safe to assume that any “alleged” member of the mafia is not going to stop their objectionable activity and repent.
The Pope basically called them evil and said they were not “with God.” This is the first time any Catholic Pope has addressed the Mafia. As you can probably guess, law enforcement in Rome is now afraid that the Mafia will retaliate against the Pope. (I wonder how much it costs to put a hit out on the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church?) There has been no credible threat against the Pope’s life made by the mob to date.
The Pope is also trying to “clean up” the business activity of the Vatican Bank. He put a commission together to specifically investigate and clean up money laundering offenses. No, the Pope didn’t have a sudden interest in the illicit financial dealings of the church. He was put under pressure by international financial authorities to clean up the Vatican Bank’s questionable business practices. It is believed, but has not been proven that the mob was using the bank to smuggle money.
I can only assume this has angered the Mafia greatly, since they have had a long standing relationship with the Church often paying for church repairs and paying for feast celebrations for Catholic saints. In exchange, the church ignored the alleged illicit deed of the members of the mafia.
The hypocrisy of the whole thing is ridiculous. Are religious figures supposed to pass judgment? Isn’t the purpose of religion to be accepting of all? There is a saying… Don’t condemn people because they sin DIFFERENTLY than you. The Pope probably should clean house and rid the church of all the child molesting priests before he bothers to banish alleged mobsters from the church, after all don’t criminals need Jesus the most?