archbishop in one of southern Italy’s mafia strongholds has proposed a
10-year ban on naming godparents at religious ceremonies to prevent the
church being ‘exploited’ to create bonds between mafia clans.
clans use baptisms and confirmations to create alliances between
criminal families and the role of godfather, or 'padrino,' helps them
forge bonds with the next generation.
Condemned: Pope Francis has excommunicated mafia clans for their evil deeds
Francis visited a mafia powerbase in June and condemned mobsters in the
strongest possible terms, saying they were ‘excommunicated’ for their
evil deeds. Previously he has called on them to repent.
Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini says he initially put forward the idea to ban
godfathers two years ago but it was rejected by the Vatican's
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Morosini is the archbishop of Reggio Calabria, in the toe of Italy,
controlled by Italy’s most ruthless mafia, the Ndrangheta. They are
responsible for an estimated 80 per cent of Europe’s cocaine imports and
have links with everyone from the IRA to the Colombian cartels.
Msgr Morosini is the archbishop of Reggio Calabria, controlled by
the southern Ndrangheta Mafia, which is run by Pasquale Condello (above
Movie portrayal: The famous baptism scene in The Godfather, with Al Pacino as mobster Michael Corleone
Francis’ comments, Msgr Morosini has raised his proposal again,
discussing it with the pope at the Vatican last weekend. He said Francis
was open to the idea and asked him to confer with fellow bishops before
reporting back to him.
Msgr Morosini said suspending godfathers at mafia christenings would be ‘a powerful decision’.
said that the Ndrangheta mafia was founded on family relationships that
were often 'broadened and strengthened' through the bosses' access to
sacraments such as baptism and confirmation.
He told the Italian
newpaper La Repubblica: 'This measure could help to stop this expansion,
which from a mafia perspective, is fundamental.’