Pope Francis becomes `mafia target` after campaigning against corruption
London – Pope Francis has brought on himself the wrath of mafia after campaigning against corruption, a leading anti-mob prosecutor has warned.
Nicola Gratteri warned that Francis’ attempt to bring transparency to the Vatican was making the white collar mobsters who do business with corrupt prelates ‘nervous and agitated’.
Gratteri further said that the pope is dismantling centres of economic power in the Vatican adding that organized criminals could be thinking about attacking him, the Guardian reports.
According to the report, Francis, who has called for ‘a poor church’, has backed reform at the Vatican’s bank, which has been suspected for years of being a channel for the laundering of mob profits.
Gratteri said that the mafia that invests, launders money, has the real power, and has got rich for years from its connivance with the church, and with Pope’s efforts they are now getting nervous.
The prosecutor further criticized priests and bishops in southern Italy who legitimise mobsters and said that mobsters did not consider themselves wrongdoers.
He used the example of a mafioso putting pressure on a business owner to pay protection money, first by shooting up his premises, then by kneecapping him and if the person still refuses, the mobster is ‘forced’ to kill him and if one has no choice, that is not considered committing a sin, the report added.