Pope condemns the mafia, persecution of Christians

Pope Francis concluded his one-day trip to the southern Italian region of Calabria with strong words against the Calabrian mafia, calling it “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good. Mafiosi are excommunicated, not in communion with God.” — Credit: FRANCO ORIGLIA/GETTY IMAGES

Pope Francis denounced the dishonesty and violence perpetrated by members of the local mafia in his homily during his June 21 day trip to Italy’s Calabria region.

“When adoration of the Lord is substituted by adoration of money, the road to sin opens to personal interest,” he said. “When one does not adore the Lord, one becomes an adorer of evil, like those who live by dishonesty and violence.”

Pope Francis, who celebrated the Mass outdoors, recognized the beauty of the area.

“Your land, which so beautiful, knows the signs of the consequences of this sin. The ‘Ndrangheta (Calabrian mafia) is this: adoration of evil and contempt of the common good. This evil must be fought, must be expelled. It must be told no,” he said. Those who have chosen the “evil road, such as the mobsters” are “not in communion with God. They are ‘excommunicated,’” he said.

 

Religious liberty

A day earlier, the pope lamented the continued persecution of Christians and other religious believers, encouraging scholars and governments to defend religious liberty the day before.

“Nowadays, persecution against Christians is stronger than it was in the first centuries of the Church, and there are more Christian martyrs than in that time,” the pope said June 20 in the Vatican's consistory hall will participants of the conference “International Religious Liberty and the Global Clash of Values.”

“It gives me great pain to see that Christians around the world suffer the most from such discrimination,” he said. Research institutions such as the Pew Research Center have found that religious hostilities involving religion reached a six-year high in 2012, while government restrictions on religion have increased in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

He called religious freedom “a fundamental right of man.” It is “not simply freedom of thought or private worship,” but “the freedom to live according to ethical principles, both privately and publicly, consequent to the truth one has found.”

—Catholic News Agency


Voices

Jean Beliveau, RIP

REV. RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI

Jean Beliveau was more than an athlete, though certainly he was a one-in-a-million athlete. The record of his achievements almost defies belief. He played in the National Hockey League for 20 seasons and retired with 10 championship rings. 

 

The Holy Father visits the Holy Land

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December 20, 2014

  • Saturday, December 20

    St. Margaret's Center Christmas Program, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Morningside High School (Cafeteria), 10500 S. Yukon Ave, Inglewood. St. Margaret's Center, Inglewood School District, Doorking, Inc., and Centinela Hospital Medical Staff invite you to join them as they create a holiday wonderland with Christmas surprises for more than 1,000 poverty-level children and their parents. (310) 672-2208. Click here for more information.

    Christmas Shop at Holy Grounds, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 566-1500.

    Dancing Festival of Lessons and Carols, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Holy Spirit Retreat House, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino. A concert by Valyermo Dancers & Co., choreographed by John West. $15. Contact Sr. Deborah for more info, (818) 784-4515.

    Christmas Dinner Dance, 6 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 21433 Strathern St, Canoga Park. Tickets, $28. (818) 371-0473.

    Las Posadas, 7 p.m., Parish Hall, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 600 W Mariposa St, Altadena. Posadas means “the inns” or “the shelters” in Spanish. A religious and social celebration, Las Posadas commemorates Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter prior to the birth of Christ. We invite you to join us in a one-day celebration of this tradition. (626) 794-2046.

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