News / Europe

    Pope Condemns Mafia Violence on Children

    Pope Francis leaves at the end of a meeting with relatives of innocent mafia victims, in Rome's St. Gregorio VII church, near Vatican, March 21, 2014.
    Pope Francis leaves at the end of a meeting with relatives of innocent mafia victims, in Rome's St. Gregorio VII church, near Vatican, March 21, 2014.
    VOA News
    Pope Francis visited the heartland of one of Italy's most powerful mafia organizations Saturday, calling for an end to child suffering at the hands of organized crime.

    During his one-day trip to the Calabria region, the pope met with relatives of a three-year-old boy shot and killed in January in an apparent mob hit over money. Calabria is the power base of global drug trafficking syndicate the 'Ndrangheta.

    The boy, Nicola "Coco" Campolongo was killed along with his grandfather and his grandfather's female companion.

    Pope Francis went Saturday to a prison in the town of Castrovillari to meet the boy's father, who is imprisoned there. Both of the boys' parents were in prison for drug crimes at the time of his murder. His mother is now reportedly under house arrest.

    Francis also greeted 200 other inmates held at the prison. The French news agency AFP says many of the prisoners the pope met are serving time for mafia-related crimes.

    The pope's campaign against organized crime has prompted warnings that he could become a mafia target.

    Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Comments
         
    by: Steve Hubbard from: Washington DC
    June 22, 2014 8:40 AM
    Apparently John and Ed have strong feelings towards the Vatican, the Catholic priesthood in general for sexually molesting children and hiding cardinals and bishops and reassigning priest to other parishes only to continue their perversion on God's children. Guess what? So do I. But this article has zero to do with that abomination. Ed, John, find the appropriate article and write about it and if you write a credible, responsible commentary, I may well support you 100%. But this article has to do with the killing of children by true degenerates and scum of the earth who dare to threaten the Pope, a man who has more compassion for you and me than you two or I deserve. Gentlemen, stay focused and I will join your team on the other issue.
    In Response

    by: john from: lafollette
    June 24, 2014 4:26 PM
    I understand i got off topic a bit...but this man plays compassion...its his job to show compassion...To teach people the LORD is real compassion and not fake...I have never heard this pope or any before him ever teach the word of GOD...NEVER....Yeah they may speak INSPIRED words...BUT NEVER THE WORD...If you know the word and it sounds like you do...you would know that the LORD despises men like this...If the pope wants to help he needs to clean up his own house before going out and trying to clean other houses...like the mafia's houses.
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    June 23, 2014 8:34 AM
    Oh Steven, peace be with you. I am so happy that your Pope is defending children. Kudos. Of course the actions taken to reassure EVERYONE that the Pope will not tolerate molesting and raping little boys by so much of the clergy in the Catholic world. Maybe I missed that headline, but I definitely didn't miss this one. Right on, Pope! So does this mean if he catches the mafia molesting and raping children, that he'll slap them on the wrists as well? Or is the mafia's evil worse than your clergy's evil? Yep, more clarification needed, which will be eloquently delivered with fire and brimstone.

    If the Pope had fired all of the Catholic clergy, form pastor all the way up to the Pope himself, and forced all of them to take lie-detector tests (publicly) before returning to duty, then I would take YOUR church serious about child abuses, whether violent or touchy-feely, do you agree? Or do you think being gentle on child rape is OK?

    I'm sure when the Pope slaps the mafia on the wrists for child abuse, they will drop to their knees and beg for mercy! Please use something other than my mother's skirt, she is a decent, loving, woman of Jesus, for which we all respect our parents, or is that just another one of those goofy Commandments. Me and my ignorance, oh the agony!

    by: john from: lafollette
    June 21, 2014 7:00 PM
    This is a joke right.....im more scared of the Vatican than the mafia....The mafia isnt in my church lying in GODS word....The mafia isnt molesting deaf children at summer camps....The mafia does not play church and play GOD.

    by: ed bowie from: oregon
    June 21, 2014 6:44 PM
    I sincerely hope the Pope comes to deliver a very strong statement condemning the gay behavior that is polluting the world ,there is to be no condoning or acceptance of this perverted ,vile and immoral behavior .That Christians choosing to obey God's laws need not tolerate Governments gay agenda be forced on them !!!
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    June 22, 2014 4:14 AM
    Gay people? Really? Where did you pull that argument out of? Sincerely? Really? In case you don't remember, Jesus accepted everyone into his bosom! Oh, my bad, I must be referring to a different type of Jesus. I 'sincerely' hope the YOU will taek firm action starting RIGHT NOW to not consume, participate, or purchase anything that gay people had a hand in inventing, designing, cooking, or developing that has made a major impact on the world we live in. Go ahead, knock yourself out. I don't mind. Or does it say in Matthew 1:12, "oh ye, walketh in the light that nourishes the soul of the self-righteous hypocrite." No? Maybe I misquoted that verse. Sorry. Wrong bible. Gey people, really.

    by: Steve Hubbard from: Washington DC
    June 21, 2014 6:36 PM
    Should the Mafia directly or indirectly be responsible for the assassination of Pope Francis, may all guilty souls be automatically excommunicated for those who are Catholics and may non-Christians alike who are guilty of participating contract incurable slow-agonizing diseases.
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    June 22, 2014 11:13 PM
    OK, Steve, thanks. Thanks for the insults. Mother's skirt? Nice. I get it, you're Catholic. That's great. Hiding? Sure, this is an internet forum, in case you weren't aware. With all the nut-jobs out there reading our viewpoints and concerns, I don't think it would be wise to post your personal information, ever! Mother's skirt, sorry, still cracking me up. Missed the point my friend. It's the fact that you are wishing bad things on people. THere is enough bad things happening in the world today, without wishing for more! And it's not just to pray for those who are evil, but it's to pray for the evil to end. Which is obvious that no one in this world has the ability to slow it down, much less end it. "Vengence is mine." really? What about "Vengence" for those little girls in India being raped and hanged? What about those poor defenseless people in Mexico being slaughtered and displayed because of the drug cartels? Why are the Jews still waiting for the "Vengence" against the Germans? One thing is true, evil begets evil. Vengence begets vengence. Whoever wrote those supposed words of our Lord should've thought things more clearly. Wishing bad things upon others begets bad things upon others. As a fellow Christian I just assumed you understood these things as an obvious fact. My bad. Sorry to offend. Mother's skirt? That's good. "Peace be with you," must be something to say, rather than believe, right?
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    June 22, 2014 4:04 AM
    Are you sure you would wish these bad things to happen to people? Do you feel YOU are the equivalent to God on automatically judging others? According to the bible (maybe you don't have one handy), we are all guilty because we are BORN! Sooooo, are you sure you want to wish bad things to happen to guilty people, or should you pray for them (and yourself!) like we are supposed to? Or is it certain acts of guilt that YOU are only concerned with? If you don't have children, family, or friends that you care about, then I could understand your lust to wish bad things on people YOU deem as guilty. Clarification needed.........

    by: Mark from: Fl
    June 21, 2014 5:33 PM
    Far from it being the voice of America this site decides what freedom of speech means. Boooooooooooo to you, your staff, and your site. You should be in Russia or Iran where you belong.
    In Response

    by: Steve Hubbard from: Washington DC
    June 22, 2014 4:12 PM
    Dear 1WorldNow, apparently you don't have the guts to give everybody your real identity and hide behind your mother's skirt. Well, read this clearly. You are about as ignorant as is Mark in reading and misinterpreting. If the Mafia did in fact directly or indirectly, one or more individuals be morally guilty of participating in the murderous assassination of Pope Francis, they may never be caught by police and tried as such, but yes, God has everything to do with it, and if he decided to seek vengeance on the Mafia in the way I have described, then yes, justice WOULD be done and I just happened to make the right guess like playing poker at the Las Vegas tables or winning the lottery. I have a Bible, for sure. "Vengeance is mine," saith The Lord. I never said I would commit the vengeance. But you do make a good point on praying for the guilty. Yes, you and I can do that for their souls. I am sure you would be the first to do so. But there still remains the punishment. Two separate issues in my mind. I hope his clarifies it for you.
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    June 22, 2014 3:58 AM
    I don't get it Mark, what do you mean? Was your comment censored? Oh, wait, I just read it. Enlighten us what the VOA is doing to your (our) freedom of speech. If you don't mind.

    by: Mark from: Fl
    June 21, 2014 5:28 PM
    "Pope condemns Mafia violence against children", But apparently its ok against adults.
    In Response

    by: Steve Hubbard from: Washington DC
    June 22, 2014 3:55 PM
    Mark, I have to assume you really believe what you wrote? The fact that a journalist decides to caption the article "Pope Condemns Violence on Children" that you necessarily interpret that those are the words and feelings adopted by the Pope? I hope not. Tell us all you mean that the writer of this article should have included the word "Adults" so ignorant uneducated but opinionated individuals can't be so easily duped and misled?

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