Vatican spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini said the pope's stern words did not constitute a formal over-arching decree of canon
(Church) law, regarding excommunication, which is a formal legal process.
The pope might have to
excommunicate a few more people before long. I sincerely hope and pray that he can complete his mission on this earth. The mafia may not take too
kindly to his statements. The Catholic church may have some trouble with this pope too..
Pope Francis on Saturday took on one of Italy's most dangerous organised crime groups, calling it an example of "the
adoration of evil" and saying Mafiosi "are excommunicated". - Francis on Saturday issued the strongest attack on organised crime groups by a
pontiff in two decades, accusing them of practising the "the adoration of evil" and saying mafiosi are excommunicated.
It was the first time a pope had used the word excommunication - a total cutoff from the Church - in direct reference to members of organised
"Those who in their lives follow this path of evil, as mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated," he said in impromptu
comments at a Mass before hundreds of thousands of people in one of Italy's most crime-infested areas.
To sustained applause he told the crowd: "This evil must be fought against, it must be pushed aside. We must say no to it." He branded the local
crime group, the 'Ndrangheta, as an example of the "adoration of evil and contempt of the common good" and said the Church would exert its full
force in efforts to combat organised crime.
"Our children are asking for it, our young people are asking for it. They are in need of hope and faith can help respond to this need," he said.