After hundreds of years knowing that no matter how many 'double-taps to the head' or 'sleeping with the fishes' orders they give, a quick penance and the mafia is going to pass through the pearly gates; the Pope, having met the father of a 3-year-old boy slain in the region's drug war, declared that all mobsters are automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church. "Those who go down the evil path, as the Mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated," Pope Francis decreed during his one-day pilgrimage to the southern region of Calabria - the heart of Italy's biggest crime syndicate. With the world already having a ChairSatan, is it now time for The SatanFather?
Pope Francis journeyed Saturday to the heart of Italy's biggest crime syndicate, met the father of a 3-year-old boy slain in the region's drug war, and declared that all mobsters are automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
During his one-day pilgrimage to the southern region of Calabria, Francis comforted the imprisoned father of Nicola Campolongo in the courtyard of a prison in the town of Castrovillari.
In January the boy was shot, along with one of his grandfathers and the grandfather's girlfriend, in an attack blamed on drug turf wars in the nearby town of Cassano all'Jonio. The attackers torched the car with all three victims inside.
Calabria is the power base of the 'ndrangheta, a global drug trafficking syndicate that enriches itself by extorting businesses and infiltrating public works contracts in underdeveloped Calabria.
During his homily at an outdoor Mass, Francis denounced the 'ndrangheta for what he called its "adoration of evil and contempt for the common good."
"Those who go down the evil path, as the Mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated," he warned.
As much as the church has been a force against the mafia there have also been instances of priests colluding with them, CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey reports from Rome. Francis' visit and rhetoric could also be seen as a message that that won't happen again.
The big question, of course, is if there is a 'godthering' clause that enable the Dons access to the after-life? How long before Francis gets an offer he can't refuse?