The Chicago Syndicate: Pope Francis
Showing posts with label Pope Francis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pope Francis. Show all posts

Monday, September 21, 2020

The mafia has hijacked images of the Virgin Mary in an attempt to convince people that they are doing God's work

The Pope addressed a letter to a new Vatican think tank, which was launched by the Pontifical Marian Academy which was launched at a "Liberating Mary from the Mafia" conference on Friday, Sept. 18.

The mafia has commonly used images of the Virgin Mary due to its close ties with the Catholic Church. A number of mobsters also hijack images of Mary and other Catholic figures to claim that God is on their side.

Pope Francis, however, is attempting to put a stop to this and, speaking at Friday's conference, he said that religious and cultural images of the Madonna "must be preserved in its original purity."

The Pope additionally said that any displays of devotion to Mary "must conform to the message of the Gospel and the teachings of the church."

Francis said that mobsters simply can't live Christian lives because their lifestyles and their actions "blasphemes" God, according to the Associated Press.

Pope Francis's message to the think tank was dated Aug. 15, a major Catholic feast day devoted to Mary.

The recently-established think tank is made up of clergymen and law enforcement experts with experience fighting organized crime.

The Argentinian Pope is following the footsteps of Pope John Paul II, who previously tried to put an end to the mafia's associations with the Virgin Mary, warning mobsters that they needed to change their ways or face the wrath of God.

In 1993, John Paul II famously visited the island of Sicily after two highly-publicized killings of anti-mafia prosecutors.

The Catholic Church has historic ties with the mafia in Italy. Some priests have openly supported the mafia, facing criticism and police interest for holding elaborate weddings, funeral and celebrations of other sacraments for mafia dons in addition to accepting mafia donations. Other priests have publicly opposed the mob and paid for it with their lives.

The mafia reportedly exploits popular veneration of the Virgin Media to foster a culture of obedience to its own authority.

Mafiosos commonly fund huge religious processions where a statue of Mary is made to "bow" to a mafia boss.

This tradition is used to send a political message to local Catholics that the mafia is doing God's work and working for the good of the community.

The notorious ’Ndrangheta crime group in Southern Italy has also conducted councils at Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Polsi, in the Calabrian mountains.

Thanks to Shane O'Brien.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pope Francis, @Pontifex, Excommunicates #Mobsters with Calabrian Mafia from Catholic Church

Pope Francis concluded his one-day trip to the southern Italian region of Calabria with strong words against the Calabrian mafia, calling it “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.”

“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,” he said to applause.

The Pope Pope Francis Excommunicates Mafiamade these statements on Saturday during the feast-day Mass he presided for Corpus Domini on the plains of the small town of Sibari, a once-important city in the Hellenistic period of Calabrian history.

Organizers planned for 200,000 faithful to attend. They gathered under the hot sun, with temperatures flirting around the 30-degree mark. Sitting in the first rows of the assembly were those with illness and disability, rather than local dignitaries—a decision the local bishop chose to underline ahead of the Pope’s trip.

The Pope’s visit to the region, marked by violence and corruption and renowned for mafia activity, was highly anticipated by the locals, who in recent months were rocked by the murder of Fr. Lazzaro Longobardi, as well as the death of a three-year-old boy, the innocent victim of a mafia homicide.

In his homily, the Pope spoke about the evils that can occur when adoration of God is replaced by adoration of money. “Your land, which so beautiful, knows the signs of the consequences of this sin," he told those assembled. "This evil must be fought, must be expelled.” He called on the local Church to expend itself even more “so that good can prevail”.

“Our children ask this of us,” he added.

He said faith can help in responding to these demands. He called  the faithful of the Church in Calabria to be brothers and to show each other practical solidarity, noting signs of hope in local families and in the Church. He also urged young people not to allow themselves to be robbed of hope.

He told the faithful his trip was intended to express his support for the local Church, to confirm the people in faith and charity, and to encourage them in their journey with Jesus Christ.

“Today,” he continued, “we ask the Lord to enlighten us and to convert us, so that we truly adore only him and we renounce evil in all its forms.”

He concluded, saying that in adoring Christ and following him, parishes will grow in faith and charity and they will be places where people walk alongside each other and support, help and love each other, even in difficult moments

Thanks to Vatican Radio.

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