If Italy's mobsters won't listen to reason, maybe they will listen to the Pope. Pope Francis was attending a prayer vigil at a Roman church for relatives of innocent people killed by mobsters when he gave the warning. The vigil was held in honor of over 842 victims and each of their names was read aloud during his speech.
During the vigil the Pope spoke out on his opinion of mobsters and warned them that if they did not change their ways and repent, they would be spending eternity in hell.
"This life that you live now won't give you pleasure. It won't give you joy or happiness," he said. "Blood-stained money, blood-stained power, you can't bring it with you to your next life. Repent. There's still time to not end up in hell, which is what awaits you if you continue on this path."
Pope Francis has not kept quiet on matters of the mob and has spoken out against them on several other occassions, but his speech during the vigil was the first time he has ever addressed them publicly.
In Italy, the mob has a strong influence, but they have become more brutal and careless over the last few years and harming or killing more and more innocent people. Just this week, a 2-year-old boy was killed with his mother and her male companion during a mob hit. His two older brothers were in the back of the car when it was attacked but managed to escape and survive.
The Pope brought up the attack during the vigil and expressed his sadness and condolences to the family of the murdered child and mother.
He closed his address to the mobsters by saying,
"You had a father, a mother. Think of them," he said. "Weep a little. And convert yourselves."
Do you think the Pope's words will have any effect on organized crime in Italy?
Image via Wikimedia Commons