Vatican City, May 10, 2021 / 04:10 am
The Vatican’s human development office has created a working group on the topic of the expulsion of criminal organizations from the Catholic Church.
The group was created in honor of Rosario Livatino, a Catholic judge killed by the mafia in Sicily in 1990, who was beatified in the Cathedral of Agrigento May 9.
The eight-member group will study the excommunication of the mafia, offering support to bishops around the world, according to a press release announcing the initiative from the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development.
Giuseppe Pignatone, president of the Vatican City State Tribunal, will be a member of the group. Pignatone is an Italian magistrate who served as deputy public prosecutor in Palermo and then public prosecutor in the cities of Reggio Calabria and Rome, where he oversaw the arrests and trials of a large number of people belonging to organized crime organizations.
Other members of the anti-mafia working group are philosopher Vittorio V. Alberti; Italian politician and former president of the Antimafia Commission Rosy Bindi; anti-mafia activist Fr. Luigi Ciotti; author and ex-mafia rehabilitation activist Fr. Marcello Cozzi; Greek Catholic priest Fr. Ioan Alexandru Pop; and prison chaplain Fr. Raffaele Grimaldi.
Grimaldi has served as a prison chaplain for more than 20 years and helped rehabilitate the man behind the 1990 murder of Bl. Rosario Livatino. Antonio Gallea, then 20 years old and a leader of the Agrigento-based Stidda, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder.
In 2015, the court granted Gallea parole for good behavior and Grimaldi supported the ex-mafia boss’ reform and reintegration into society.
Gallea also gave testimony during the diocesan phase of Livatino’s beatification cause but was arrested in February on accusations that he is again leading the Stidda.