Pope: Mafioso Risk Going To Hell With "Blood-Stained Power"

Toto Riina never sleeps in his prison bed without pictures of the saints pasted on the wall around his head...

Bernardo Provenzano's knowledge of the Bible is legendary. When he was finally arrested police found four bibles on his bedside table complete with annotations and underlining...

Value systems that propose to offer the absolute -- such as communism, democracy and religious faith -- have to give devotees an entire system to explain the world, as well as rules and codes for what constitutes "good behavior." Most importantly, there must be an ideological foundation from which everything else springs.

The Catholic Church, of which I am a member, offers believers salvation, eternal life, the rite of reconciliation.

But as the Mafia can give its members no metaphysical or ideological foundation, it has turned to religion, using components of the Catholic Church to reconstruct a false version of the Catholic God to justify itself. (This belief is powerfully expressed in The Honored Society, by Petra Reski.)

This is the God of the Old Testament: the God of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; the bloodthirsty God who destroyed mankind with his great flood, who easily annihilated Sodom and Gomorrah.

Catholic priests in Italy who have spoken out against the Mafia are far and few between; on the island of Sicily, a priest speaking out is even rarer. But some have. Father Nino Fasullo is one of them.

In the Honored Society, Father Fasullo said, "Religion may represent the only ideological apparatus to which [the Mafia] can refer."

He lives on the outskirts of Palermo and is known as the "anti-Mafia priest."

"There isn't a single Mafioso who isn't religious," he said, his voice sounding agonized. He has spent a lifetime giving lectures and writing on the subject. "We are all in the Church. Even the Mafia unfortunately," he told Reski."The church is embroiled in it. But regrettably not everyone in the church is convinced that opposition to the Mafia is necessary."

In Sicily, an Archbishop has been up before the courts for accepting bribes for awarding building contracts. One Palermo-based Cardinal famously said in the 1960s: "Mafia? Isn't that a brand of soap?"

The church is the Mafia's ethical point of reference, Father Fasullo said. "Over time an almost blind relationship of trust has established itself between [the church and the mafia]."

Pope John Paul II was known for speaking out against the Mafia; he was the first Pope ever to do so, labeling the group as the spawn of Satan.

Now Pope Francis has been picking up the mantel, recently, in view of all the child killings happening it Italy, has issued a warning that will have a more powerful effect on Italian Mafioso than we here in the U.S. could possibly imagine.

He quite clearly told them: that they will go to hell if they don't repent and renounce their "blood-stained money and blood-stained power."

As Kelsey Waananen wrote for the Examiner.com: "Pope Francis spoke strongly against the lifestyle of mobsters at a vigil held for those killed by the Italian mafia.

According to the Telegraph on March 21, the pope warned mobsters that their life after this one would be spent in hell if they did not convert and repent. The vigil was held for the 842 people who have had their lives taken by the Italian mafia since 1893.

After each name was read off, Pope Francis began his plea. As well as warning that mobsters will not be able to take their material goods with them, including their blood-stained money and power, he added, “This life that you live will not give you joy or happiness.” He implored them to think of their mothers and fathers and to let that motivate them to convert before they “end up in hell.”


  1. Good article Ed, what I do not understand is how much power does the pope have in Italy to truly cause a change in hearts with regards to mobsters and regular citizens?

    1. More than you'd think... but I really am referring to mobsters in Italy; the child killings going on there are absurd and by speaking out, Popes like Francis are telling them, for the first time in history, "No... you can't use the church to justify your life of crime." I think men like Toto Riina will be offended by these words and probably deeply disturbed. Less so, American Mafioso.

  2. I agree Ed. American Mafiosi could care less .They do their business and are church going Roman Catholics. For example, Tommy Shots gave the order to have someone whacked whole in a holy church garden...making a hand gesture to signal his intent to his soldier.

    1. tommy shots meaning thomas gioeli will go to hell for sure god sees evil. and every one on his team.THe jury was money undertable .GOd justify every one life.the power of god and pope francis. amen.

  3. Religion plays a very important role in Italy (not only the South). But the true is that, most of Italian Mafiosi are low educated people, most of them ( us) come from rural context where catholic religion is dominant. Many mafiosi did not went to school, many of then can´t read at all. At least American Mafiosi finished highschool. That makes a huge difference I believe. It is true also that, for the reasons just exposed above, it works if you can have a corrupt priest close to you. You pay him good, and he will deliver espiritual help.

  4. I disagree. Gesu (Jesus) said "Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give God what belongs to God" (your heart and soul). The Mafioso that pays the priest and the priest that takes the money will both spend eternity in hell. Nome di padre, figli, espiritu santi. AMEN!

  5. Anonymous Old School. Good to hear from you.

    You never took your favorite priest out to dinner, lunch or gave him money once in a while? Come on....... they are bureaucracy, they provide a service and that service has a price.

    The other point is that, even is you are a born and raise catholic, if you join this Life and you have concerns about hell and heaven you should not have join this Life at all in the first place.

    That is why, at the end, I believe Italian Mafiosi and American Mafiosi would not pay attention to this. They will only pay attention in Italy if the Pope starts to bring a lot of heat and starts to bother the ´joint ventures´ that the Church has with some mafia guys like in Calabria, Catania or Avellino.

    In the end, if there is a hell, we are all going to. We all choosed this life and what it means.

    Sto all'Inferno ma con la bocca chiusa!

  6. Good to hear from you, too, De Lucca. Remember the accountant from the Vaticano that ran away from Italy and they found him dead in England? Supposedly he committed suicide. I don't believe it.
    Regards, Old-School



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