Pope excommunicates the mafia

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Thomas Veil, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    This is one of those events that falls under the category of "Well, duh."

    Not sure why they didn't do this a long, long time ago. But better late than never. So much for the mafia's cognitive dissonance. :)
     
  2. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #2
    I'm sure that they'll all give up all criminal activity now and devote their lives to doing charity work.

    Yes...it's good he did it, I suppose.:rolleyes:
     
  3. Scepticalscribe, Jun 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #3

    Actually, for once, I disagree with you both on this to a certain extent. I think you may be over-looking an important nuance, here, at least one which will resonate powerfully in Italy.

    An Italian friend (whose father is a senior carabinieri officer) and with whom I drink espresso, & discuss politics, was discussing this very topic tonight with me and had explained the - significant to him - detail of how Vatican officials, (including the previous two Popes) had signally failed to even mention the Mafia in speeches when visiting places such as Naples, or Sicily in the past.

    When pressed on such omissions, they tended to offer shrugged asides to the effect that the Mafia were a by-product of economic underdevelopment, deliberately overlooking the role of the church in helping to keep some of the parts of the south of Italy in such a state. My friend stressed this evening that - such is the influence of the Church in the south of Italy - that if the Church openly condemned the Mafia, he would see it as highly significant, as it would cost them (the Mafia) support, - given the strength of the Church still, in parts of the South, and added that some of the best and most motivated (and murdered) magistrates (Falcone, and della Chiesa come to mind) who had pursued the Mafia had been strongly secular, often from the North of the country, dedicated to upholding the institutions of the State, and, as such, were individuals whom he suggested that the church was somewhat ambivalent about.
     
  4. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #4


    While I would always accede to your expertise in this area, I have a question. Granted the support for the Mafia by non-Mafia locals could be effected by the pope's actions...the question for me is what percentage of the variance of the support is church influenced...and how much is the "support" is attributable to fear of not "supporting" the Mafia?
     
  5. Scepticalscribe, Jun 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #5
    Actually, I don't know. What is interesting is that we had this conversation this evening well before this story broke, so I shall have to put it to him tomorrow, in the light of tonight's breaking news. His own, and his family's immediate background, make him unusually well informed on such matters.

    However, he did stress that the influence of the Church - culturally, could serve to counterbalance that of the Mafia if - a big if - it sought to enter & contest this arena. His argument was that the Church had steered clear (of criticism of the Mafia) in the past, and that in some cases he felt that this ambivalence tipped into outright mutually supporting ecosystems, whereby Church and Mafia were almost conjoined at times (in the South). I find it interesting that he had explained the nature of some Vatican (and papal) speeches, on this very topic, in Sicily and Naples, stressing the key importance of what was omitted (namely, any condemnation or criticism of the Mafia).

    Here, he was keen to point to the ambivalence of the Church historically to the very idea of a unified (independent) Italian state, and how their support for same was qualified, at best, notwithstanding Mussolini's concordat.

    Once again, he emphasised the total lack of support the murdered (and very impressive) magistrates had received (Falcone and Borsellino were impressively qualified magistrates of both courage and integrity, while della Chiesa was a carabinieri general, if I recall rightly - all were murdered while attempting to investigate Mafia crimes) had received and the muted response of the Vatican to these murders.
     
  6. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #6
    Thanks for your interesting response. I look forward to your post after you have the opportunity to ask your friend my question.
     
  7. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #7
    Same here.

    This sort of fits in with what Scepticalscribe was saying, too:

    If the Mafia finds it harder to recruit young people into either using or dealing cocaine, I'm sure they wouldn't be pleased.

    Which leads us to another not-totally-unexpected part of the same story.

    Aside from what we may learn from Scepticalscribe's friend, this whole topic also sounds like the kind of thing Vox would be good at explaining, if they choose to pick up the story.
     
  8. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

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    #8
    In the fourteenth century there were two popes, one in Avignon, the other in Rome. They excommunicated each other, so the current pope's validity is suspect.
     
  9. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #9


    I would like to point out to both of you the Mafia is a constant factor in modern Italian life, it's not talked about but it's always just there, just below the surface. No major business deal on major build project goes through with a Mafia cut, they are always were the money is. The Mafia were very quick to see the new possibilities when EU money flooded into southern Italy.
    The mafia's cut is just the price of doing business in Italy.

    The major thing that has changed in Italy is that unlike the Mafia bosses of a few years ago, the new generation are very wary of any publicity. No more luncheons and drinks with politicians. They might be out of the picture, but rest assured they are in the background.
     
  10. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #10
    The Avignon Pope, Clement VII, had no legitimate claim to the title as he was elected by a smaller enclave of French ONLY Cardinals. The Roman Pope, Urban VI, was elected by the full College of Cardinals. Pope Francis, successor of the Roman line of Popes, can trace his line off succession back all the way to St. Peter. He is the real McCoy.

    Anyhow, how this being excommunicated would affect the Mafia would depend upon how devote their members are. Before being excommunicated, they could commit the most heinous crime imaginable. Once they absolved by a priest, all is forgiven. It wipes the slate clean in the eyes of God. The setup kind of sucks for Catholics like me who walk the straight and narrow.:mad:

    Anyways, now they cannot be absolved of their sins. "Up the creek," as it were. Like I said before, it depends upon how devotion level of the members.
     
  11. Felasco Guest

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    #11
    Yes, how puzzling indeed.

    A good reminder of why I left the Catholic Church 50 years ago. Any religion which takes centuries to excommunicate the mafia is too slow witted for me.
     
  12. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #12
    Interesting...thanks for the observation.:D
     

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