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

Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision in United States v. Texas

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Our nation’s ongoing failure to address the immigration crisis is a humanitarian tragedy. For more than a decade, state and local governments, Congress, the President, the courts — and now the highest court in the land — all have failed in their responsibilities to address this issue. 

Events

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June 25, 2016

  • Saturday, June 25

    Los Angeles Foster Care and Adoption Information Meeting, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Children’s Bureau Foster Care & Adoption, 1910 Magnolia Ave., Los Angeles. Discover if you have the ability and resources to help a child in need. To RSVP or for more information, call (800) 730-3933. To request an information packet, go to: www.all4kids.org/program/foster-care.

     

    His Mercy Endures Forever, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Grand Ballroom, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Presented by The Sower Metanoia. Speakers: Fr. R. Tony Richard from New Orleans; Lay evangelist Jesse Romero; Fr. Ismael Robles; Sower prayer ministry leader Sandra Burroughs, Noel Diaz, founder of El Sembrador. Praise & Worship- The Sower Band. Donation $25/person (Buy 3 tix get a 4th free). Info: (877) 714-5679, Spanish (818) 700-4938. Get tickets at www.sowermetanoia.com.

     

    New Rite of Matrimony Workshop by the Archdiocesan Office for Worship, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., St. Junipero Serra, 5205 Upland Rd., Camarillo. Speakers from the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship and the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC). Implementation of the new rite begins Sept. 8, 2016, and is mandated as of Dec. 30, 2016. To register, go to: www.fdlc.org.

     

    How Can This Man Give Us His Flesh to Eat?, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., St Madeleine parish, 931 East Kingsley Ave., Pomona. The many prophecies, antetypes and allusions to the Holy Eucharist and Holy Mass found in the Torah and in the Gospels--along with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. A mini-retreat conducted by Tidings columnist Sean M. Wright. Register at the parish. Info: (909) 629-9495. 

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