Sibari, Calabria | Using his strongest language to date, Pope Francis told Italian Mafia members and those who look like mafia members on Saturday that they are excommunicated from the Catholic Church, thereby excommunicating nearly 95% of Italians across the globe.
“Those who in their life have gone along the evil ways, as in the case of the mafia, or those who in their life have not gone along the evil ways, but nevertheless look like they could be in the mafia, which is roughly every Italian in the world…they are not with God, they are excommunicated,” Francis said in an outdoor Mass in Piana di Sibari, Calabria.
It is the first time a Pope has spoken of excommunication for the Mafia and other possibly innocent men who just happen to speak Italian and gesticulate a lot with their hands. 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 and other men who have slicked back hair and have friends with names like “Nikki the Bull,” “Donnie Two-Toes,” or “Crazy Joey something or other,” are known to attempt to portray themselves as upstanding religious men in good rapport with the Catholic Church, in order to maintain local credibility.
“They must be told, No!” the Pope said to a crowd of over 100,000 gathered for the outdoor Mass.
“No to so much hair gel…no to all that cologne…no to gold crosses resting in a furry bed of chest hair. No means no!”