Pope ‘at risk’ from Italian crime gang

The Pope is under threat from one of Italy’s most feared crime groups because he has spoken out about corruption in the Vatican, it has been said.

A leading anti-mafia judge, Nicola Gratteri, said if the “godfathers” of the ’Ndrangheta could find a way to silence the new pontiff, they would “seriously consider it”.

The latest attack by Pope Francis on organised crime gangs came at a Mass on Monday when he quoted a passage from the Gospel of Luke in which Jesus says: “It would be better for [the corrupt man] if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea.”

Italian daily newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano quoted Gratteri as saying: “Pope Francis is dismantling centres of economic power in the Vatican.

“If the bosses could trip him up, they wouldn’t hesitate. I don’t know if organised criminals are in a position to do something, but they are certainly thinking about it. They could be dangerous.”

Pope Francis has spoken out strongly against organised crime in the past, specifically naming the Italy’s four main organised crime groups including the ’Ndrangheta.

According to the Religion News Service, the organisation is considered by experts in Italy to be the most dangerous, most unified, and most impenetrable mafia-type organisation in the country.

Organisations linked to the Vatican have been suspected for some time of being an easy channel for the mafia to launder profits.

According to the Guardian newspaper, police this week impounded a luxury hotel on Rome’s Janiculum hill — formerly a monastery — which the ’Ndrangheta allegedly purchased from a religious order.


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