Pope Francis held a meeting with the National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Directorate of Italy. These are the judges and officials who deal with crime in these two areas.
"I deeply thank you for the time you have given us today."
Pope Francis recognized the difficult work they do and the dangers which they are exposed to everyday.
"I am aware of the fact that your work involves risks to your life – this I know – and the risk of other dangers for you and for your families. It's the mafia way of doing these things."
He has also asked them to make special efforts to help the victims of mafias engaged in human trafficking. Once again, the pope has asked for the conversion of these criminals.
"At the same time, may the Lord, just and merciful, touch the heart of the men and women of the various mafias, so that they pause, stop doing evil, convert and change their lives."
Pope Francis recalled that the Mafia is opposed to the Gospel and it must be combated because it expresses the culture of death, while the Gospel expresses life. Therefore, those who follow Christ can have nothing to do with the mafia.
"The money from the dirty deals of mafia crimes is stained with blood, and produces iniquitous power. We are all aware that the devil enters ‘through the pockets:’ there is the first corruption."
The pope assured the magistrates that he prays for them and for their important work. In return, they gave him a plaque in recognition of his work in for peace and justice.