A new Vatican group backed by Pope Francis is taking on a setback to prevent members of the mafia from exploiting the Virgin Mary and other Catholic imaginations, and to recruit members and whiten their dark underworld image.
According to the Vatican Pontical Marion Academy, the think tank “Liberate Mary from the Mafia” aims to stop the dacoits who have “hijacked” parts of the religion – by capitalizing on popular depictions of Jesus’ parents.
Madonna’s images “must be preserved in original purity” and “in line with the message of the Gospel”, Francis said at the Vatican conference on Wednesday. He gave his blessings to the group, which is made up of clergy and organized crime experts.
The Catholic Church in Italy had long been associated with the mafia thanks to the common post-war cause against communism. Vizagias often participate in religious processions, for example, to erect good community – and present themselves as God in their favor.
According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, the use of Virgin Mary imagery by gangsters is “furious” in Italy. And the mob group Ndrangheta often uses Catholics to teach that “God is with them,” Rev. Stefano Cecchin recently told Vatican News.
In 1993, St. John Paul II famously demanded that mafiaosi change their ways – or face God – when they sent two anti-mafia prosecutors to sleep with fishes.
Francis echoed that belief, saying that true Christians cannot be mobilized.
With post wires