Pope Tells Mobsters To Repent
And Follow God
Pope Francis has spoken out against Mafia organisations exploiting and enslaving people, and called on gangsters to turn to God.The Pontiff was speaking a day after a courageous priest murdered by the Sicilian Mafia was beatified.
"My thoughts are with the suffering of women, men and also children who are exploited by the many Mafias who make them slaves, through prostitution, through many social pressures," the Pontiff told the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square.
"They cannot do this, they cannot make our brothers slaves, we must pray to the Lord to make these mafiosi convert to God."
Francis paid tribute to Pino Puglisi, the reverend murdered by the Mafia, calling him a martyr and an "exemplary priest" dedicated to serving and educating young people.
Father Puglisi worked in one of Palermo's poorest and roughest neighbourhoods, trying to give hope and options to young people who were often recruited by the mob.
He was gunned down by the Mafia in 1993.
Father Puglisi was beatified at a mass in Palermo on Saturday with tens of thousands in attendance. Beatification is the last formal step before possible sainthood.
The Pontiff’s remarks recalled an impassioned plea by the late Pope John Paul II. During a visit to Sicily 20 years ago, he called on mafiosi to "repent, because one day you will face the judgment of God".