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Pope Francis urges mafia to stop 'exploitation and slavery'

Addresses comments during Sunday's Angelus and a day after the beatification of Rev Giuseppe 'Pino' Puglisi

Pope Francis urges mafia to stop 'exploitation and slavery'

Pope Francis took on the mafia during Sunday's Angelus, a day after the beautification of a priest murdered by the Sicilian mafia in 1993

Vatican Insider, Rome
Vatican City

May 27, 2013

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At Sunday’s Angelus, a day after the beatification of the Rev. Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisi, the Pope paid tribute to the priest who was murdered by the Sicilian Mafia.

“Let us pray that these Mafiosi and Mafiose convert to God," the Pope said referring to female and male mobsters in Sunday’s Angelus. Francis also remembered the late Rev. Giuseppe "Pino" Puglisi in his prayers, saying that “behind this exploitation and slavery are the mafias.” The Rev. Puglisi, priest and martyr, was murdered by the Sicilian Mafia in 1993.

Apart from Francis, back in 1993 John Paul II also launched an appeal for the Mafia to convert. He addressed the Mafia in the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento (Sicily) on 9 May 1993, asking them to convert. Today, Pope Francis mentioned the Rev. Pino Puglisi as an example, 20 years on from his death.

“I think of the great pain suffered by men, women and even children, exploited by so many mafias, who make them do work that makes them slaves through prostitution, so many social pressures. Behind this exploitation and slavery are the mafias,” the Pope said. “Let us pray that these people convert their hearts. They cannot make our brothers slaves. Let us pray that these Mafiosi and Mafiose convert to God.”

The Mafia wanted to defeat Rev. Puglisi but “it was him who defeated them,” the pope said.

“Rev. Puglisi was an exemplary priest and a man devoted especially to youth ministry. Educating young people according to the Gospel, he took them away from organized crime, and thus [the Mafia] tried to defeat him by killing him,” he added. “But it was him who defeated them, with the Risen Christ. Let us praise the Lord for his luminous testimony and let us treasure his example.”

Full story: Pope urges mafia to convert their hearts

Source: Vatican Insider

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