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A look back at the Pope's strong words against the mafia


When it comes to the mafia, Pope Francis has been very direct and unapologetic. He denounced corruption during his recent visit to Naples, where he called on locals to resist the temptation of easy money.  

"Corruption stinks and a corrupt society stinks.”

This isn't the first time Pope Francis has lashed out against the mafia and its dire consequences. 

The Pope also made headlines back in June 2014, when during a visit to the southern Italian region of Calabria, he said this to mobsters. 

June 23, 2014
"The mafia is not in communion with God. They are excommunicated.” 

It's the same message he highlighted from his studio window in January of last year, when the country was mourning the killing of a three-year old toddler named Cocó. He was reportedly killed by the mafia when his grandfather failed to pay a debt. 

January 26, 2014 
"Let’s pray for Cocò, who is surely in Heaven with Jesus. For those who have committed this crime: May they repent and convert to the Lord.” 

It was a year ago, in March 2014, when Pope Francis met with families of those killed by the mafia over the span of many years. The names of 800 victims were read aloud during a prayer Vigil in Rome. The Pope called on mobsters to repent. 

March 21, 2014
"You still have time to not end up in hell. That is what awaits you, if you continue down this path.”

As an underlying factor, in these speeches, the Pope has highlighted that idolizing money and power leads to evil and a corrupt heart.