Italian Prosecutor Raises Concerns of Possible Mafia Assassination Attempt on Pope

Vatican Spokesman Says No Cause For Concern

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News of a possible attempt by the Mafia on the Pope’s life, which was reported by ZENIT’s Spanish edition, has caused concern throughout Latin America.

Nicola Gratteri, the Assistant Public Prosecutor of Reggio Calabria, raised suspicions of a possible assassination attempt in an interview published yesterday in an Italian newspaper.

“There is no concrete reason for concern and there is no cause for excessive alarm,” said the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, told journalists.

The Public Prosecutor said that, in the centers of power, the figure of Pope Francis is regarded with distrust and fear, to the point of wanting to put an end to his life. The Holy Father could be the target of organized crime if he continues with his policy of financial cleansing in the Vatican.” He is making the Mafia’s financiers nervous,” said Gratteri.

What is more, the Calabrian Public Prosecutor said that “those who have nourished themselves up to now from the power and wealth that derive from the Church are agitated.” The Pontiff “is on the right path, he speaks against luxury and given immediately important signs” that he is determined to make a “total cleansing,” an attitude that cannot but upset the Mafia, which “has nourished itself from its coexistence with the Church.”

“I don’t know if organized crime is in a position to do something against the Pope, but it is certainly reflecting. It could be dangerous,” he stressed. “If the Mafia chiefs could put him out, they wouldn’t hesitate.”

The expert in the fight against organized crime mentioned also said that “the old godfathers with the visor caps no longer exist; they are dead or in prison.” At present, the boss is “the Mafia investor, who launders money. [He] has the real power.”

For the Assistant Public Prosecutor of Reggio Calabria, “it is those individuals who are getting nervous.”

It is important to point out that the word Mafia is used in Latin America as a generic term. In Italy, however, the Mafia is the criminal gang in Sicily, whereas in Reggio Calabria it is called N’drangheta, and in Naples, Camorra.

Meanwhile, the figures portrayed in the film “The Godfather” are now obsolete and what remains is simply criminality that is involves the trafficking of human beings, arms, as well as prostitution and drugs, thus prompting the need to launder illicit funds. (J.A.E.)

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