June 21st, 2014
02:04 PM ET

Pope excommunicates Italian mobsters

By Delia Gallagher, CNN

(CNN) - Using his strongest language to date, Pope Francis told Italian Mafia members Saturday that they are excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

“Those who in their life have gone along the evil ways, as in the case of the Mafia, they are not with God, they are excommunicated," Francis said.

It is the first time a Pope has spoken of excommunication for the Mafia.

Excommunication, which excludes Catholics from the church, can be imposed by church authorities or incurred automatically for certain grave offenses.

The Pope’s remarks will resonate strongly in this part of southern Italy, where the Mafia attempt to portray themselves as upstanding religious men in good rapport with the Catholic Church, in order to maintain local credibility.

During a one-day visit to Calabria, in southern Italy, the Pope denounced the local mafia, called ‘Ndrangheta, as an example of “the adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.”

According to reports, ‘Ndrangheta is one of the wealthiest international crime organizations, with an annual turnover of 53 billion euros, much of it from the global cocaine trade.

Calabria also suffers from 56% youth unemployment, which the Mafia exploits with promises of jobs for disillusioned young people.

“They must be told, No!” the Pope said to a crowd of over 100,000 gathered in Piana di Sibari, Calabria, for an outdoor Mass.

Prosecutor: Pope faces threat from the mafia

Earlier during his visit, Pope Francis met with relatives of a 3-year-old boy, Nicola Campolongo, who was the victim of an alleged Mafia hit in January. Nicknamed Coco, the boy was with his grandfather when they were both shot and their bodies subsequently burned in a car.

It is not the first time the Pope has spoken out against the Mafia. In March in Rome at a meeting with families of victims, the Pope called directly on Mafia bosses to repent, saying "hell ... awaits you if you continue on this road.”

Some anti-mafia prosecutors have worried that mobsters may target Pope Francis, who is reforming the Vatican, including its scandal-scarred bank, the Institute for Religious Works.

"The strong will of Pope Francis, aiming to disrupt the gangrene power centers, puts him at risk. He disturbs the Mafia very much," Nicola Gratteri, an anti-mob prosecutor in Calabria, told CNN in November.

(CNN's Daniel Burke contributed to this report.) 

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (743 Responses)
  1. ugetthefacts

    How is the vatican able to excommunicate itself?

    June 22, 2014 at 7:44 am |
    • saggyroy

      One day articles like this will disappear from news altogether. For the same reason they don't write articles about Spiderman or the Tooth Fairy.

      June 22, 2014 at 8:03 am |
  2. seyouell

    To all individuals who have interacted with me:

    I see a lot of hate and a lot of ignorance here. Most of it is from Atheists. What does that say about the end product of your beliefs?

    Don't bother answering. I don't want your ignorant vitriol in my life anymore so I won't be back.

    June 22, 2014 at 5:28 am |
    • RayEm

      A drongo told us he has no soul. Life is a dead end he said. Love is best defined scientifically he cried. He never gave as much as the The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration have to those without. But in theory he can. He doesn't need Bejebus to do those kinds of things. He can't see. Can't you see? He is begging for you to help him, not condemn him.

      June 22, 2014 at 5:59 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      You mean our disbelief in gods? That is all you can be guaranteed of any Atheist agreeing on.
      Now if you wish to see true hate, I suggest you be an adult and look at other articles here...hate comes from your ilk just as much as it does anyone.
      What you're seeing is intolerance of the Catholic Cult of Peds and intolerance that is well merited given how they cover up and protect the monsters. Sorry if that offends you.

      June 22, 2014 at 6:39 am |
      • seyouell

        Could you please clarify this? Are you saying that ALL Catholics and ALL Priests are pedophiles?

        Are you saying that just by being Catholic, an individual endorses pedophilia?

        June 22, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Did you fail reading comprehension? Where do you get the idea that I said all? Although the fact that you still support the church says little about your care for the children and more about your care for your imaginary friend....how very sad.

          June 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
    • colin31714

      Typical Catholic responses to points that legitimately call into question their beliefs:

      a. Claim Catholic beliefs are being misrepresented when, in fact, all one has done is stripped them of their self-serving nomenclature and called a spade a spade.

      b. Make a personal attack on your opponent, calling them “bitter,” “egotistical,” or “arrogant,” without addressing their underlying point.

      c. Call their points “old” or “tired” without explaining who that makes them any less valid.

      d. Run away.

      Thanks you for neatly exemplifying all four in one page of this blog.

      June 22, 2014 at 7:28 am |
      • seedenbetter

        What other options do they have when they defend the indefensible?

        June 22, 2014 at 8:09 am |
      • seyouell

        Gosh, I wouldn't want you to think that... so I explained how you misrepresented specific Catholic beliefs in another post.

        So do I have your permission to go now without being accused of cowardice?

        Oh wait... you'll do it anyway....

        June 22, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          If you google a phrase from one of Colin's posts, you will see he has copied and pasted that thing over 100 times on this blog. And across other platforms. He gives a lot of packaged answers provided to him by anti-theist websites and pop-philosophy books.

          He has probably 50 packaged answers filed away on his computer and rotates through them each week.

          If you provide a flaw in his reasoning, he disappears. If you point out an error in his "facts" he disappears. If you hound him on his mistakes or dishonesty, he resorts to name calling and throwing a childish fit.

          June 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
        • fintronics

          "provided to him by anti-theist websites "..

          So says the internet anti-atheist.

          June 23, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
    • ugetthefacts

      Not atheists, but children who were abused, their families and those who actually care for children.

      Nice try though.

      June 22, 2014 at 7:46 am |
      • seyouell

        Were you abused by a Priest? Or a member of your family? If so, I understand your anger and it is my greatest wish that the person who did such evil be punished both in this world and the next. Don't let the hate eat you up from the inside though.

        June 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • G to the T

          You confuse anger with a combination of frustration and incredulaty...

          June 23, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • igaftr

      I went back and looked at YOUR comments. Name calling seems to be one of your favorite things to do.

      Some of your comments show YOUR hatred shining through, and some of your comments show a great deal of ignorance.

      We're glad you left, since you complained about the very things you were doing.

      June 22, 2014 at 8:16 am |
  3. RayEm

    Adam – 'Man'
    Seth – 'appointed'
    Enosh – 'mortal'
    Cainan – 'sorrow'
    Mahalalel – 'The blessed God'
    Jared – 'shall come down'
    Enoch – 'teaching'
    Methuselah – 'his death shall bring'
    Lamech – 'the despairing'
    Noah – 'comfort'

    Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.

    June 22, 2014 at 5:20 am |
    • igaftr

      OR...there are no gods and men just made up the whole thing. Seems far more likely that men made up the whole thing, especially considering how much of the bible is wrong. "god" would not have gotten so much wrong.

      June 22, 2014 at 8:18 am |
  4. awpblogprofile

    I have been trying for years to excommunicate the church. But, it keeps popping up its ugly head! I would like to escalate my excommunication. Thanks!

    June 22, 2014 at 3:22 am |
    • saggyroy

      Try an exorcism.

      June 22, 2014 at 7:52 am |
  5. susanhelit

    Whatever else the church has done and not done over the last centuries, with all there is that is horrible that they've done, this is the right thing. This is huge. The mafia like to act religious, use religion, to take that from them is huge. And yeah, doing the right thing comes with a real risk, to churches, priests, the pope, but it's the right thing and so long overdue.

    June 22, 2014 at 1:59 am |
    • ugetthefacts

      The mafia stopped giving them large donations.

      June 22, 2014 at 7:48 am |
  6. colin31714

    Catholics, hey? Hmmm, let's see.

    Q.1 The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the religion of:

    (a) Superst.itious ancient Celts;

    (b) Bronze Age Egyptians;

    (c) Pre-Colombian Aztecs with no education; or

    (d) Modern, 21st Century Catholics

    Q. 2 You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are:

    (a) a reptile handler who has severe mental issues;

    (b) a five year-old boy who just read a fairytale;

    (c) a scientific fraud; or

    (d) a Catholic

    Q. 3 I believe that an all-knowing being, powerful enough to create the entire cosmos and its billions of galaxies, watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty" like protect myself from disease with a condom. I am

    (a) A victim of child molestation

    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions

    (d) A Catholic

    Q.4 I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am

    (a) A gifted psychologist

    (b) A well respected geneticist

    (c) A highly educated sociologist

    (d) A Catholic with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.

    Q5. I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Catholic

    Q6. Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    Q.7 The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    Q.8 What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from Catholicism:

    (a) Catholicism tells people not only what they should believe, but what they MUST believe under threat of “burning in hell” or other of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Catholicism can make a statement, such as “God is comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas Catholicism is regional and a person’s Catholicism, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than geographical upbringing; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.9 If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    Q.10 Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am

    (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker

    (b) The mafia

    (c) A drug pusher; or

    (d) The Catholic Church

    Q.11 What do the following authors all have in common – Jean Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, and Blaise Pascal:

    (a) They are among the most gifted writers the World has known;

    (b) They concentrated on opposing dogma and opening the human mind and spirit to the wonders of free thought and intellectual freedom;

    (c) They were intimidated by the Catholic Church and put on the Church’s list of prohibited authors; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.12 The AIDS epidemic will kill tens of millions in poor African and South American countries before we defeat it. Condoms are an effective way to curtail its spread. As the Pope still has significant influence over the less educated masses in these parts of the World, he has exercised this power by:

    (a) Using some of the Vatican’s incomprehensible wealth to educate these vulnerable people on health family planning and condom use;

    (b) Supporting government programs that distribute condoms to high risk groups;

    (c) Using its myriad of churches in these regions as “boots on the ground” to distribute condoms; or

    (d) Scaring people into NOT using condoms, based upon his disdainful and aloof view that it is better that a person die than go against the Vatican’s position on contraceptive use.

    Q.13 The statement “I believe in God because the Bible tells me to and the reason I follow the Bible is because it is the word of God” is:

    (a) Circular reasoning at its most obvious;

    (b) The reason 99% of Catholics believe what they do;

    (c) Specific to the Judeo-Christian parts of the World and totally rejected by all other parts of the World; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.14 Probably the most fundamental tenet of Catholic faith is that God sent his son Jesus to Earth to die and save us from the original sin of Adam and Eve. We now know that Adam and Eve was a myth. As such, any thinking Catholic should:

    (a) Honestly and courageously question this and any other aspects of their faith that don’t make sense.

    (b) Make up some euphemistic nonsense like “well, we didn’t mean that literally” after having done exactly that for the last 1900 years until science comprehensively disproved it.

    (c) Just ignore the blatant contradiction and sweep it under the mat; or

    (d) Hold on to the myth because it makes them feel good.

    Q.15 Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition from those below. For the one you choose, please say why it is any more ridiculous than the rest of the nonsense Catholics swallow and give an example of a non-Catholic belief which is just as stupid.

    (a) Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.

    (b) When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.

    (c) You can pray to a dead person for something. This dead person will then ask God to fulfill your wish. If this happens twice, this dead person becomes a saint.

    (d) A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed.

    June 22, 2014 at 1:54 am |
    • seyouell

      You missed question 16:

      Q16: If you are ignorant of what Catholics believe, someone who spends a large amount of time repeating the same old Atheist Chestnuts, have a lot of anger issues and have so much spare time that you can write huge posts that demonstrate all these points are true, then you are:

      a) Someone who has very little social skills.

      b) A person who likes to spew forth hatred.

      c) A megalomaniac

      d) Someone who like people to think he's smart when he is not.

      e) All of the above.

      June 22, 2014 at 5:26 am |
      • colin31714

        I'm "ignorant of Catholic beliefs," hey? Please advise which belief I misrepresented and how I got it wrong.

        June 22, 2014 at 7:18 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm not Catholic, but:

          "The completely absurd theory that all..."

          Ok, that description... is absurd. And it is just your theory of what you imagine they believe.

          Hypocrisy right at the start. NOBODY will take this post seriously, except internet anti-theists who frequent religion blogs searching for religious people to ridicule.

          More hypocrisy:

          Q.10 Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am


          ***I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am: YOU!***

          Colin's atheism: it is not rocket science or brain surgery.

          June 22, 2014 at 8:04 am |
        • Dalahäst

          **Despite contributing nothing to society,**

          To say they contribute nothing to society is either a complete mistake on your part or dishonesty.

          Do you know the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to that church of $10 billion and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of $18 billion. The graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92 percent.

          The Catholic Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students.

          The Catholic Church has a nonprofit hospital system of 637 hospitals,

          And don't forget food pantries, housing for visiting families with members at hospitals, homeless shelters, neighborhood cleanups, donating facilities to youth groups, venues for weddings/funerals, programs for the elderly.

          And what do you contribute to society?

          June 22, 2014 at 8:14 am |
      • ugetthefacts

        poster was right on.. Sad that the catholic church brainwashes children into zombie followers.

        June 22, 2014 at 7:41 am |
  7. thesamyaza

    some one forgot pay there dues.

    June 22, 2014 at 1:23 am |
  8. seyouell

    @ observer You wrote: There are MANY more public schools than Catholic schools.
    I wasn't talking about Catholic Schools. I would explain, but I have a feeling you can't read very well.

    @ otoh2 You wrote: Ah, so "they are as bad as we are" is a good argument, eh?

    No, that wasn't my argument, genius boy. My argument is that you're a hypocrite. And if your kid is in public school you're a HUGE hypocrite. Can you show me where you posted such vitriol against the Public School System? Or any other organization that has systematically abused children and then covered it up? No? then shut the hell up.

    June 22, 2014 at 1:09 am |
    • otoh2


      It is good that civil law and public awareness are rooting out these criminals wherever they may be. Your paragon-of-virtue Church did a cr@p job and you know it. You were betrayed.

      Other remiss/decadent organizations will have to answer to their supporters.

      June 22, 2014 at 1:25 am |
      • seyouell

        ohtoh2 wrote:
        "It is good that civil law and public awareness are rooting out these criminals wherever they may be."

        You missed my point again. Perhaps you should check out the Congressional Report done by Congressman George Miller on the schools in California. Also the GAO's report that expanded on it to a national level.

        Then come back and discuss it intelligently.

        My point was that I don't think you're complaining about Pedophilia in other organizations– just the Catholic Church. And if you can show me just ONE place you have before the date and time of this post, I will apologize.

        ohtoh2 wrote: Your paragon-of-virtue Church did a cr@p job and you know it. You were betrayed."

        Unless you've been gifted with some sort of psychic powers, you cannot claim to know anything about me. Saying I knew something is the height of arrogance.

        ohtoh2 wrote: "Other remiss/decadent organizations will have to answer to their supporters"

        Show me one comment you posted regarding your outrage towards the systematic abuse of children from any other organization and I'll apologize. The post, of course, should be dated before this one.

        June 22, 2014 at 3:35 am |
    • observer


      So it was a typo. Should have said there are MANY more public schools than Catholic churches. The analogy is true either way. Your point was pretty meaningless either way.

      Why not grow up and skip all the JUVENILE INSULTS? They make you look pretty ignorant.

      June 22, 2014 at 1:30 am |
      • seyouell

        I don't know what is so hard for you to understand. Compare the abuse of children in public schools to the abuse of children in the Catholic Church. Those are the two organizations I referred to.

        Then use a ratio of members in each organization to the number of abuse cases.

        Then you'll have a fact. Otherwise you will continue to look ignorant. But I really don't think you care about anything other than your anger. Good luck with that, because I will not respond to you until you present some facts.

        Know what? You are incapable of presenting facts. I DARE you to present some facts.

        June 22, 2014 at 3:39 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          The difference is that if it happens in the public school system, the perps are not moved around so they can avoid persecution. Stop defending the Catholic cult and trying to put the shoe on the opposite foot. Anyone who supports what the organization does and stands by it is as much at fault for turning a blind eye. The church needs to be disbanded, not supported.
          Ignorance must truly be bliss or perhaps you value your imaginary friend more than you do innocent children.

          June 22, 2014 at 6:46 am |
    • ugetthefacts

      pedophilia were the child was left to cope alone was rare in public schools. When found out, the child was given immediate help. In the catholic church, the pedo was given protection and the child was threatened and denied help.

      Nice group of popes, bishops and cardinals. Rather a disgusting bunch.

      June 22, 2014 at 8:05 am |
    • realbuckyball

      One tiny difference.
      The Public School system doesn't claim it's the Body of Jebus, and make it's living off such tripe.

      June 22, 2014 at 8:13 am |
  9. No Wake Zone

    I hear a lie telling a lie to a lie.

    June 21, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
    • truthinfacts1

      I am still trying to figure out why Adolf Hitler was never excommunicated.

      June 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
      • No Wake Zone

        He is still in good standing as far as I know.

        June 21, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
      • Joeseph Eclaire

        You can't figure it out uh.
        Hint: add another perhaps million or so to the ovens/gas chambers.

        One learns as a 'mature adult' that sometimes in life in and around certain people or situations it's better not to say anything. As an example how many would like to tell their boss to go shove it but don't for fear of losing said job.

        June 21, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
      • ontheotherhand1

        ummm, because he wasn't Catholic?

        June 22, 2014 at 12:32 am |
        • observer


          ummm, because he was raised by a Catholic mother and was baptized and confirmed?

          June 22, 2014 at 12:39 am |
    • seamus5555

      Lets make this easy......whom ever has not committed one or more of the seven cardinal sins Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride, please put your names on here. I do not think it will take up too much room

      June 21, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
      • No Wake Zone

        Why? I do not understand the point you are trying to make. Sorry.

        June 22, 2014 at 12:04 am |
  10. glades2

    What Pope Francis did (perhaps in response to the horrible Mafia "murder by swine" news that is reported elsewhere on this site) took great courage, since the last Vatician warning directed at mafioso resulted in several church bombings – it takes nothing to type insults, but to put one's life at risk for the greater good of others (by warning the Mafia to repent) takes courage and a complete trust in God...

    June 21, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
    • No Wake Zone

      Correction: ...putting OTHER peoples lives at risk.

      June 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Oh right. "Trust in god". Tell that to the countless people who die every year from natural disasters, and childhood illnesses.
      I'm surprised he would mention this. The daughter of a Vatican offical was kidnapped and murdered by the Mafia, as retribution for all the money the Vatican Bank scandal cost them.

      June 21, 2014 at 11:44 pm |
  11. christopherkwun

    There are issues with Catholicism that need to be discussed. I am sorry but Catholicism has distorted so much of history and it needs to be debated someday.

    June 21, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
    • No Wake Zone

      How about today?

      June 21, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
    • seyouell

      I'm willing to debate. Anytime you think you have the actual facts.

      June 22, 2014 at 12:19 am |
      • colin31714

        Sure. Let's start with the authorship of the gospels and the authorship of the Pentateuch. The Catholic Church still teaches that Moses penned the Pentateuch and that Matthew and John were apostles, and that Mark and Luke personally knew apostles, despite our knowing for over 150 years that none of the above attributions are correct. It also claims Peter the apostle wrote the two Petrine Epistles, despite our knowing that to be a lie, too.

        June 22, 2014 at 2:01 am |
        • seyouell

          Provide references for everything you just said please. I understand if you don't want to back up your statements with facts.

          June 22, 2014 at 3:26 am |
        • RayEm

          The Drongo told us he has no soul. Life is a dead end he said. Love is best defined scientifically he cried. He never gave as much as the The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration have to those without. But in theory he can. He doesn't need Bejebus to do those kinds of things. And we agnostics hope he actually will do those kinds of things someday.

          June 22, 2014 at 5:56 am |
  12. ugetthefacts

    mafia doesn't give enough money any more. I see.

    Cardinal law and this pope covered up child abuse,, no excommunication????

    What a con this pope and his religion are.

    Oh wait, in 200 years from now, all pedos will be excommunicated.

    What a POS the pope and the vatican are.

    June 21, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
    • No Wake Zone

      It's time to hit the mattresses. This has to happen once every few years. Clears out the bad blood.

      June 21, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
      • ugetthefacts

        yeah, but the pope is dirty too. All PR crap

        June 21, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • No Wake Zone

          Well at least for the believers out there, they know he will go to hell for his sins against God.

          June 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
  13. minuano72

    Excommunicate a few of the proven child molester priests. Now that would be stepping up.

    June 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
    • Akira

      Many are. What needs to be done is turning over those former priests to local authorities for prosecution.

      June 21, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
      • ugetthefacts

        yeah, right. Statutes protects the pedos thanks t the popes and bishops lobbying to stop laws that would expose them.

        Turn them over? The worst crimes committed were the cover ups by the popes, bishops and cardinals.


        June 21, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • seyouell

          Would you like to bet that teachers in public schools have abused more children than the Catholic Church has in the last 10 years? And then when I win the bet, you'll have to answer why you aren't saying the same things about the Public School System. And by the way– my information comes from Congressional Studies along with the GAO.

          Please take the bet. I'd love to prove you the idiot you are.

          June 22, 2014 at 12:25 am |
        • observer


          There are MANY more public schools than Catholic schools.

          June 22, 2014 at 12:41 am |
        • otoh2


          Ah, so "they are as bad as we are" is a good argument, eh?

          Listen, this is the organization which has proclaimed itself to be the most holy, righteous, blessed, hot-line to "God" and "eternal salvation". They are held to a much higher standard of behavior.

          Yes, perhaps it has gotten better in the last 10 years or so, but ONLY because of the vast exposés, the huge public outcry and the clamp-down by civil law .

          June 22, 2014 at 12:51 am |
        • ugetthefacts

          By comparison to the catholic church,, pedophilia was rare in public schools where the child was left to cope alone. The child most often received immediate help within public schools.

          However in the catholic church, the pedo was protected and the child was threatened from telling and denied help. There have not been cases where a child abused in the catholic church were helped unless a parent stepped in. Yet a parent didn't have to step in within public schools, the child was more often given immediate medical attention.

          One might ask the bigger questions;

          Which is the organization that claims to set the moral compass?

          Why is the largest victims group those abused by the catholic church and not other religions or from public schools?

          Why does the catholic church lobby against Bills from becoming law that would expose pedos and those who cover up abuses while public school teachers and principles support these Bills to expose pedos?

          June 22, 2014 at 8:25 am |
        • Akira

          Oh, I'm sorry if my post was ambiguous.
          Any/every person suspected of pedophilia, including those who are active in covering it up, should be prosecuted.
          Canon laws do not trump civil laws.

          June 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • No Wake Zone

        The church can give the mob lessons.

        June 21, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • ugetthefacts

          mafia is far less dirty than the pope and vatican, for sure. Child abuse cover ups?

          June 21, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
        • No Wake Zone

          Yeah, you know it is just sickness. Both of these organizations. A sickness.

          June 21, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
      • ugetthefacts

        none have been excommunicated. Zero. A few 400 out of thousands were defrocked. And defrocked is not fired. They are given other jobs in the church with full retirement. This was done to make it appear they were doing something.

        The only ones fired were those who stole money from the church or supported women's rights.

        The pope wouldn't fire the pedos for fear they would speak up against the popes, bishops and cardinals who covered up the crimes and abuse children themselves.

        Talk about mafia protection.

        June 22, 2014 at 8:24 am |
  14. chosenbygrace

    But not the molester priests or his own idolatrous "our tradition is equal to scripture" pharisee sheep in wolve's clothing cult leader self?

    June 21, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
    • ugetthefacts

      in 200 years from now they will. All a huge con by the vati-can

      June 21, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
  15. No Wake Zone

    I've just about had it with the press squealing in delight at every mundane thing the new Pope does. "Ooh look, he walked across the street! He picked the name Francis! He shook hands!" Oh fuck, he's a 76-year-old executive who got a promotion. They act like he's a baby who just made a boom-boom. ~B. Maher

    June 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
  16. danab1234

    I'm sure the Mafia is laughing at this.

    June 21, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
    • No Wake Zone

      They may not think it is funny. This has happened before, in Sicily, and they blew the crap out of several churches.

      June 21, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
      • ugetthefacts

        good. I hope this time its the vatican. A child abusing freak inst!tution

        June 21, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
  17. No Wake Zone

    Get ready for the churches to start blowing up. Again. This was very irresponsible by the pope.

    June 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
    • ugetthefacts

      that would be a good thing. Catholic churches only, of course

      June 21, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
  18. christianguy17

    Excommunication only applies to those in the visible church but then, when does he ever read the Bible but just make it up as he goes. But then, what should we expect from the antichrist.

    June 21, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
    • seyouell

      The idea of the Pope being the Anti-Christ is from a book by Bottener and had since been discredited substantially– both in Academic and Theological experts. The information you have is probably from someone who just repeats what they hear from someone else who does the same thing. My bet is that you never bothered to do the homework required to understand what you're talking about. And if you start posting Bible verses so commonly used to support such nonsense, be prepared to look like the parrot you are.. Do you know why? Because I've done my homework regarding this nonsense and you have not. I know every Bible verse you could possibly use in an attempt to support this stuff. And I know how to demonstrate that those who use it have no idea of what they're talking about.

      June 21, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
      • christianguy17


        June 22, 2014 at 12:56 am |
        • seyouell

          That's it? That's all you have? An article by someone else? Who, by the way, is historically incorrect on at least SEVEN items in that very article? And someone who, much like you, parrots the same nonsense that Boettner wrote?

          Oh please. At the very least you should be a man and argue the point yourself.

          You bring shame to the cause of Christ.

          June 22, 2014 at 1:04 am |
    • Akira

      How many Anti-Christs are running around now? That's a sobriquet given to so many.

      June 21, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
      • No Wake Zone

        There are between 1 and more.

        June 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
      • seyouell

        Catholics do not believe the same things regarding the book of Revelation as Fundamentalists do. Perhaps you should consider doing some homework.

        June 22, 2014 at 3:28 am |
        • Akira

          Are you the poster "achristianguy"? I was speaking to him.
          Perhaps you should learn how to follow a thread.

          June 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • thedesecrator

      Any one who does not know that Adolf Hitler was the anti-Christ is out of touch.

      June 21, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
      • No Wake Zone

        I do not know that and I am not out of touch. Why would you suggest such a thing? What facts or proof do you have?

        June 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • thedesecrator

          Take a Jewish perspective: The "Christ" is the Jewish Messiah, and, thereby, the savior of the Jewish people. The "anti-Christ is, of course, the opposite: the destroyer of the Jewish people. I think that you would agree that Mr. Hitler fit this bill quite well. But wait, it gets better: if the Anti-Christ has come and gone, what's next? One more Pope, that's what. The famous (or infamous) Prophecy of the Popes written by Fr. Arnold Wion circa 1590 gives a list of 113 phases for Popes and Pope Francis is 112: In psecutione. extrema S.R.E. sedebit. (He will sit in the final persecution. of the Holy Roman Church.)
          The phase for 113 is the apocalyptic: "Petrus Romanus qui pascet oves in multistribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Judex tremedus judicabit populum suum. Finis.
          Who will be Peter the Roman? A better question would be: "Who is already Peter the Roman."
          Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that end times prophecy has the Saints rising from their graves as was done at the time of our Messiah's resurrection. St. Peter is Petrus Romanus.

          June 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • Akira

          Except followers of Judaism don't consider Jesus to be their Messiah, and he has not arrived yet.

          June 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • No Wake Zone

          Romanus qui pascet oves in mastirbationibus

          June 21, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
  19. 1398cl

    Incredible. i am not saying this excommunication is not appropriate but what about excommunicating Pelosie and Biden and all the other pro-abortion politicians. Cannon Law 1398 specifically provides that those who procure abortions (which includes those that vote for laws to make abortion legal) are automatically excommunicated. The only CL that provides for automatic excommunication for law persons. Yet Biden actually was served communion at the pope's induction.

    June 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
    • Akira

      From the Vatican website on Canon Law:
      Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.

      This is all it said.
      That does not include supporting women's rights, or voting for laws supporting said rights.
      One does not need to make up things about the Canon Law 1398 to voice disapproval of Joe Biden.
      Incredible, indeed.
      Unless, of course, you can show me where Joe Biden procured an abortion for someone. Then, that's a bit different.

      June 21, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
      • 1398cl

        You confuse "women's rights" with abortion. The church supports a wide range of women's rights. It is vehemently opposed to abortion as it is deemed by the church murder. One who votes to make that murder legal procures the abortion just as much as the doctor who takes the life. Just like in the person who holds a person down so another slits the victim's throat are both equally guilty of murder. By this, the Church's interpretation, Joe Biden has procured thousands of abortions.

        June 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • Akira

          You were wrong about CL1398. Perhaps you shot admit that and move on.

          June 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • 1398cl

          Well you can tell by my screen name I am something of an expert on that cannon law. I am so not wrong. It is frustrating that "pro-choice" people generally can only see things thru their narrow perspective.

          June 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Akira

          *should admit it.
          I posted the complete entry of what CL 1398 said. From the official Vatican site. It said nothing of what you postulated.
          Nothing about voting for laws.
          Nothing about what you think it meant to say.
          It was one line.
          If you don't like Biden, that's fine. But, based on CL 1398, taken from the official Vatican website, Joe Biden does not deserve excommunication. Sorry.

          June 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • observer


          The Bible NEVER mentions abortion, however it does appear to give a set of instructions on how to cause them.

          June 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Akira

          You can also change you name to "I am Batman", and it would not make one whit of difference to you deliberately imputing your own spin on this:

          From the Vatican website on Canon Law:
          Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae From the Vatican website on Canon Law:
          Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.


          This is the entire law. Period.
          You don't know if I am pro-choice or not (personally, I'm against abortion); I am merely stating the fact that CL 1398 doesn't state any of what you said. It states one thing only:
          Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.

          June 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Akira

          No idea why that displayed that way. HTML fail on my part, I guess.

          June 22, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • 1398cl

          Most civil criminal and church laws do not state in the law itself everything that is covered. For instance, why would federal agencies need thousands of regulations interpreting laws if the law as passed covered everything. Why would we need courts to interpret the words of a law if the law specifically set forth everything that is covered by the intent. Again, think about it. FYI http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2944461/posts

          June 22, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • Doris

          1398cl: "the Church's interpretation..."

          So in what capacity do you speak for the Church?

          Perhaps you should just lobby that Catholics should not run for office where they will be expected to uphold U.S. law over your perception of Catholic law. Obviously though, some Catholics feel confident they can manage public service and hold on to their beliefs.

          "I Believe in an America Where the Separation of Church and State is Absolute"–John F. Kennedy

          June 22, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • Akira

          I've thought about it.
          CL 1398 doesn't say anything about what you've stated.
          I think I'll take the Vatican's official cannon law over your trying to fit whatever interpretation you wish to ascribe to it because you don't like Biden or Pelosi.
          The Pope had no such qualms about having Biden there, so apparently you think you have it right and Pope Francis has it wrong?

          June 22, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Akira

          Oh, and btw, the website you posted tells me exactly why you do not like Biden and Pelosi.

          June 22, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • Akira

          Why would we need courts to interpret the words of a law if the law specifically set forth everything that is covered by the intent.

          The same reason as what you just tried to do with CL 1398.
          That's why.

          June 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • Akira

      Not does this CL give credence to the forced birth but to hell with the kids after forced birth lobby, either.
      Pro-choice =/= pro-abirtion. That rhetoric is overused, and hyperbole never achieves anything but harmful division.

      June 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
  20. meglon

    "contempt for the common good"

    Hey Pope, why don't you come on over here to the US for a bit....we have a pretty big group of people who are the same way. They'll call you a socialist and a fascist (because they're generally too stupid to understand those are very different things), but hatred, bigotry, mysogyny, and stupidity is about all they have going for them....well, that and a bunch of clueless followers that keep electing them to congress so they can try to destroy the country.

    Maybe you can point out to them that, while they're calling themselves "Christians," they act more like the moneychangers that Jesus threw out of the temple.

    June 21, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
    • Joeseph Eclaire

      If Jesus walked among America today it would be a contest who would try to kill him first, the Conservatives or the Liberal anything thing goes crowd.

      June 21, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
    • brenna56

      They calls themselves republicans.

      June 22, 2014 at 11:02 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.