Loading
Pope Benedict condemns organized crime in southern Italy
Pope Benedict condemns organized crime in southern Italy

.- Pope Benedict XVI condemned the organized crime that plagues the far reaches of southern Italy during a one-day visit to the area on Sunday.

He noted the region's beauty, but said “an often vicious criminality wounds the social fabric” and combines with unemployment to make the place “a land that seems to live in a state of constant emergency.”
 
The Pope made his comments during a homily delivered to over 40,000 people at a public Mass in the town of Lamezia Terme in Calabria.

He urged local people not to be afraid “to live and witness to faith in the various sectors of society.” Instead, he said, they should show themselves as “strong, confident and courageous,” knowing that when they face opposition they can find inspiration in the words of St. Paul: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

Calabria is home to the secretive Ndrangheta gang, which masterminds much of Europe’s organized crime, including money laundering, drug trafficking and racketeering. The region also has an unemployment rate of about 32 percent, four times higher than the national average.

Prior to the Mass, Mayor Gianni Speranza of Lamezia Terme told Pope Benedict how his people had to live with “unacceptable unemployment, and dramatic injustice and violence.” They “cannot allow the dominion of the mafia and organized crime to grow stronger.”  He thanked the Pope for his presence, saying it gave them all “courage and a voice.”

“Never give in to the temptations of pessimism and retreat in on yourselves,” urged the Pope in his homily.

“Rely on the resources of your faith and your human capacities; strive to grow in the ability to collaborate, to take care of each other and the public good,” he said.

The Pope also used his homily to discuss today’s Gospel, where Christ recounts the parable of the wedding guest who is thrown out of the banquet for not wearing a wedding garment. Drawing upon the thought of his sixth century papal predecessor, St. Gregory the Great, Pope Benedict explained its meaning.

“We are all invited to be guests of the Lord, to come with faith to His banquet, but we must wear and cherish the wedding garment, charity, a life of profound love for God and neighbor,” he said.

At the conclusion of Mass, the Pope prayed the midday Angelus with those in attendance. He entrusted congregants and their region to the protection of Our Lady.

“Let us invoke the intercession of Mary for the most serious social problems in this area and the whole of Calabria,” he said, “especially those related to unemployment, young people and the protection of persons with disabilities who require greater attention from all."


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
Jul
31

Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Gospel
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 18: 1-6
Gospel:: Mt 13: 47-53

Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola »

Saint
Date
07/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: