Could the next papal letter target the mafia?
Pope Francis could develop a new doctrine to fight the mafia, which is Italy's infamous network of of organized crime families. Corrupt Catholics who work for the mafia could be excommunicated under a possible new doctrine.
In 2014, Pope Francis said mafia members were excommunicated, but the remark was personal and not official Church instruction.
Pope Francis has long been a vocal opponent of the mafia and organized crime. Such enterprise has produced incredible volumes of human misery though vice, drugs, human trafficking, sexual depravity, greed and corruption.
Pope Francis warned back in 2014 that members of the mafia were likely to go to hell. He also stated that those who followed the mafia were automatically excommunicated.
Technically, people excommunicate themselves, by choosing sin.
Now the Vatican may make the doctrine official by codifying it. Organizers of a conference on corruption and organized crime at the Vatican said the time has come to develop a new legal doctrine to deal with "the question of excommunication for corruption and mafia association."
Pope Francis has been hostile not only to the mafia, but also to corruption. He has run corrupt officials out of the Vatican, and he has called corrupt bishops to account for their misdeeds.
While Catholicism runs deep in Italy, so too does corruption. The nation has one of the least transparent political systems and corruption is considered a virtual norm in government and many industries.
The Church's conflict with the mafia can also result in assassinations.
However, any good Catholic should know that mafia employment also means choosing a life of sin and vice, and that forgiveness does not extend to things people have intentions of doing again. You can fool or intimidate a priest, but God knows what is in each person's heart.
Even if no doctrine is ever defined by the Church, it will not change God's righteous nature, or the fact that good is rewarded and evil is punished.
However, this should serve as a warning to anyone considering a life of crime and corruption. You cannot escape the justice of God.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for AUGUST 2017
Artists. That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.