Excommunicating the Mafia
“Those who go down the evil path, as the Mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated,” Pope Francis said on Saturday June 21st in Calabria, a mob-heavy region in southern Italy. The thousands who had gathered underneath the hot sun cheered.
Pope Francis’ pronouncement was the strongest censure of the mafia so far in his papacy, or in any of his predecessors’ papacies. Excommunication does not mean that a person is banned from the church, but it is a public recognition by church authorities that a person is no longer part of the Catholic community. Essentially it means the excommunicated party has chosen to separate him or herself from the church through their own un-Catholic choices.
Miriam Gormally met with Michael O’Sullivan SJ a scholar and researcher in personal and social transformation through spirituality. He also worked in Chile under the Pinochet regime where he spoke out against atrocities there, something which put his own life and the lives of those close to him under threat. He fully understands the need to speak out as well as the risks it involves. He spoke with Miriam Gormally to discuss whether this statement could potentially put the life of the Pope under threat.