Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/23/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pontiff moved to act after young boy is killed in crossfire

Incensed about the loss of innocent life in his immediate surroundings, Pope Francis plans to travel to the Mafia stronghold of Caserta, near Naples this weekend in an effort to set things right. The murder of three-year-old Nicola "Coco" Campolongo, a boy who burned to death in his grandfather's car in a Mafia ambush in January spurred the pontiff to action.

Pope Francis' stance against organized crime is seen as remarkable; the Mafia and the Catholic Church have previously been seen by many as having 'cozy' relations.

Pope Francis' stance against organized crime is seen as remarkable; the Mafia and the Catholic Church have previously been seen by many as having "cozy" relations.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/23/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, Mafia, murdered boy, excommunication


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At that time, the Pope spoke out against the ferocity of the crime and those behind it. The outspoken pontiff traveled to the southern Italian town where the murder took place in June and accused Mafia members of pursuing the "adoration of evil.

"They are not with God," Francis said during his visit to the nearby town of Sibari in the region of Calabria where the global crime syndicate 'Ndrangheta is based.

Live Catholic, Shop Catholic -- by going here --

"They are excommunicated!" Later, at a local prison, Francis embraced Coco's father and two grandmothers and declared "this evil must be fought and distanced."

This will be the second trip to the heart of Italy's Mafia country. In the meantime, experts are debating the impact of his uncompromising stance and what it means for his papacy.

"I think it's significant because this society is divided," Philip Willan, the British author of "The Vatican at War," says. Willan's book which was released last year and examines the relations between the Holy See and organized crime against the backdrop of the Cold War.

"The church has been divided over what sort of stance to take against organized crime. When the pope puts his weight decisively behind the people fighting that battle, he gives them extra strength and encouragement," Willan says.

Francis will celebrate Mass and meet Catholic clergy in Caserta this Saturday. The headquarters of the powerful Casalesi clan, the group's vast crime syndicate includes drug trafficking, prostitution, extortion and money laundering.

For a pope who has taken such a strong stand on poverty, social justice and inequality, his approach to the Mafia comes as little surprise. Sadly, in Italy, the Catholic hierarchy and the Mafia have enjoyed a cozy relationship for years.

The Argentine-born pope is seen as shaking things up and setting new boundaries. "I think it's simply his desire to be coherent with the Christian message; he sees organized crime as radically incompatible with Christianity," Willan said.

"And he is reaffirming that this has been forgotten or watered down in the past."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Living Faith

Martyred priest declared 'Blessed' by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Father Engelmar Unzeitig.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Father Engelmar Unzeitig was interred in the Nazi concentration camp Dachau. He was recognized as a martyr and, on Sunday, was beatified by Pope Francis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fr. Unzeitig was arrested by Nazis in 1941, at only 30-years-old. He had only ... continue reading


What is an Archangel? Watch

Image of The three Archangels mentioned in the Bible are Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is an archangel? This is a common question. Simply put, an archangel is an angel of high rank. Three are mentioned in the Bible. Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael. The Archangels are offices of high stature in heaven. These three angels mentioned in ... continue reading


Pope Francis names Texas bishop-elect Watch

Image of Pope Francis has selected Msgr. Robert Milner Coerver the bishop-elect for Lubbock, Texas.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis has named Msgr. Robert Milner Coerver, a parish priest from the Diocese of Dallas, as the new bishop-elect for Lubbock, Texas. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Msgr. Coerver, pastor of St. Rita Parish in Dallas, will ... continue reading


'The church stays close to you' - Pope Francis welcomes victims of Nice attack at Vatican Watch

Image of Pope Francis welcomed victims of Nice attack.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis welcomed relatives of the victims of the Nice, France attack on Saturday to encourage them to resist the need to "respond to hatred with hatred and to violence with violence." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic Herald, Pope ... continue reading


'The lack of exorcists is a real emergency' - More people dabbling in black magic and other pagan arts Watch

Image of Exorcists are busy fighting the devil while more people practice black magic.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

There has been a rise in pagan activity among the masses, leading to a shortage of exorcists in the United States and Italy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Experts from the Catholic Church in Italy and the United States revealed a desperate spiritual fight as more ... continue reading


'Dear President Obama:' 6-year-old's letter inspires the nation Watch

Image of We can all learn from Alex.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A six-year-old boy named Alex witnessed the heartbreaking images of children in Aleppo, Syria. One picture in particular caught his eye and, unable to stand by and do nothing, penned a letter to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The image ... continue reading


Celebrate St. Francis of Assisi with his top 10 quotes Watch

Image of How will St. Francis of Assisi challenge you today?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Today is St. Francis of Assisi's birthday! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - St. Francis Assisi was born Giovanni de Bernardino to a wealthy merchant in Assisi, Umbria, in 1181.As a youth, St. Francis lived a lavish life of wealth, feasts and joy.[media ... continue reading


'There's a growing belief that religion is not a positive for American society' - How the Church impacts the US Watch

Image of What impact does the Church have on the United States?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new report revealed exactly how faith and religion impact the United States - and you won't believe what researchers found. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a report published at Faith Counts, the "growing belief that religion doesn't contribute ... continue reading


Gee, thanks Pope Francis! Why it is now harder to get a miracle Watch

Image of Pope Francis has made it harder to certify a medical miracle.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has approved new rules that will improve scientific accuracy when evaluating miracles. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Before a person is beatified, a miracle is required. Before a person can be canonized, two miracles are required. Miracles provide ... continue reading


CT scan reveals Biblical discovery in ancient scroll Watch

Image of The scroll revealed part of Leviticus.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An ancient scroll's charred remains were discovered after a fire at the Dead Sea. Scientists believed they would never discover what was written inside - until now. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to <a ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
1 Job spoke next. He said:2 Indeed, I know it is as you say: ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
10 Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise up to praise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, 'I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 28th, 2016 Image

St. Lorenzo Ruiz
September 28: Saint Lorenzo Ruiz was born around the year 1600 ... Read More