In what was a move that perhaps ought not to have been shocking, Pope Francis made headlines last week by excommunicating the Mafia. The move came after an especially shocking drug-war-related hit that took the life of a 3-year-old boy and his grandfather in January.
While it might seem naive to think that organized crime would give a whit about the opinions of organized religion, this is one case where the pope’s actions might have some real—and real-world—consequences. “The Sicilian boss Leonardo Messina told investigators in the early 1990s, ‘All men of honor consider ourselves Catholic; Cosa Nostra sees itself as descending from St. Peter,’” according to coverage in the New Yorker.
Even if the move fails to change consciences from “the adoration of evil,” the pope’s courage may embolden some of his more ordinary followers to see organized crime as something other than an inescapable fact of life. If a 3-year-old and a 77-year-old can resist this evil, even at great cost, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.
Photo courtesy of Boaz Yiftich, freedigitalphotos.net.