And they say it was in defiance of Pope Francis' condemnation of the 'Ndrangheta.
I'm confused. The procession passed by the home of a mobster under house arrest. On his visit to the region last month, Pope Francis said mafiose were excommunicated. They say the procession detoured to honor the 82 year old mafia boss, but maybe it was more a way of reaching out to him - maybe the Madonna wanted to 'pass by' with her healing graces? Isn't the man 'imprisoned' albeit house arrest? The Pope just visited prisoners, didn't he? Those in the procession were not distributing Holy Communion. Isn't this what the Pope would do himself? Detour from the scheduled route to visit the sinner?
Here's the deal:
The July 2 procession included clergy, the mayor, parents pushing baby strollers and dozens of local men carrying on their shoulders an ornate Madonna statue.
Carabinieri officer Andrea Marino said he and his fellow officer walked away from the procession after the detour and headed to the church to complain about what happened.
One of Calabria's anti-Mafia prosecutors, Nicola Gratteri, told The Associated Press that the detour to the mobster's house appeared to be a "challenge to the diktat" of Francis.
'Ndrangheta, a global cocaine trafficker, is one of the world's most powerful crime syndicates. Religious rituals hold an important place in the mobsters' mentality.
Oppido Mamertino's bishop, Monsignor Francesco Milito, said he would take undescribed "measures" against those exploiting the church procession to pay homage to the 82-year-old local boss. The mobster, because of his age, was allowed to serve out his life sentence at home for murder. - SourceI don't get it - how is that defying the Pope? Especially when other mafiose in prison refuse to go to Mass any longer because the Pope said they were excommunicated: "reasoning if they were excommunicated it made no sense for them to attend anymore."
The man, Peppe Mazzagatti is 82 - he's elderly and under house arrest, Don't forget the Holy Father always reminds us to care for the elderly. Pope Francis: “let us also think of those other exiles – I would call them ‘the hidden exiles’ who may be marginalized within their own families – the elderly for example who sometimes are treated like burdens”.
Paraphrasing a comment I received yesterday: The big question is, how do we reach them? How do we bring them back to the Church? Do we do it by preaching at them, (excommunicating them) or do we do it by extending love and mercy, winning their trust, having a procession by their house, and then talking about how they have to change?