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Pope Calls Out Calabrian Mafia at Closing Mass

Says Adoration of God Cannot Be Substituted With ‘Adoration’ of Evil

Pope Francis has urged the Calabrian mafia to end its “adoration of evil” and “contempt of the common good.”

The Holy Father used the occasion of the closing Mass at the Piana di Sibari, his last stop before returning to Vatican City, to make these remarks. The Mass, which started at about 4 p.m. and took place at Piana di Sibari, Calabria’s largest plain, drew this one-day visit to a close.

In the homily, he stressed that there are two inseparable aspects of today’s feast, two aspects that mark the entire life of the Christian people: a people that adores God and walks with him.

Regarding those that adore him, he said, there are no substitutes which can take the place of adoring God.

“When adoration of the Lord is substituted by adoration of money,” he said, “the road to sin opens to personal interest … When one does not adore the Lord, one becomes an adorer of evil, like those who live by dishonesty and violence.”

Using this point to discuss the prevalence of Mafia in the region he said, our land, which is so beautiful, knows the signs of the consequences of this sin. The ‘ndrangheta (Calabrian mafia) is this: adoration of evil and contempt of the common good. This evil must be fought, must be expelled. It must be told no. The Church, which is so committed to educating consciences, must always expend itself even more so that good can prevail.”

Regarding those that walk with God, he said we do so when “we commit to follow him and to walk with him, seeking to put into practice his commandment which he gave to the disciples at the Last Supper: Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”  

“A people who adores God in the Eucharist is a people who walks in charity,” Pope Francis said, linking the two elements.


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About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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