According to Ciro Benedettini, a spokesperson for the Vatican, Pope Francis’s stern words do not constitute a formal decree of canon law with regards to excommunication. Benedettini clarifies that the words offered by the pope were a direct message to the members of organized crime that they had been excommunicated with the catholic church and that they could not participate in the activities of the church or church sacraments because they had distanced themselves from the church.
According to Pope Francis, people who follow the evil path like the Mafiosi are not in communion with God. Therefore, they are excommunicated. The pope’s words stern created headlines all over the world as they were considered to be extremely significant to a number of members of organized crime in Italy who see themselves as a part of a cult-like and a religious group. They are also known to take part in the sacraments and go to the church.
Pope Francis had journeyed to the heart of the largest crime syndicate in Italy, a town called Castrovillari which is located in the southern region of Calabria, to meet the father of Nicola Campolongo, a three year old boy who was killed in a drug war in the region.
Calabria is considered to be a major power base for ‘ndrangheta, a drug trafficking syndicate that has its roots all over the world. The syndicate is famous for its roles in infiltrating public works contracts and the extorting businesses. Pope Francis had also denounced ‘Ndrangheta during an outdoor mass and termed is as a contempt for the common good.
Upon visiting the site, the pope declared that all mobsters were automatically excommunicated from the Holy Catholic Church. Francis comforted the imprisoned father in the courtyard of the prison in the courtyard of the prison.
The boy was shot in the month of January along with his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend when the attackers torched the vehicle despite all three victims still being in it. The boy’s parents were already in jail on account of drug trafficking charges. This led the pope to express his horror on the attacks and the pope had also promised to visit the town.
Rev. Ciro Benedettini also stated that the Pope told the father that he prayed that children might never have to suffer in the same way again. Benedettini further added that the grandmothers were weeping inconsolably.