The life of Pope Francis may be in danger from the mafia, according to a senior Italian prosecutor.
Nicola Gratteri, a prosecutor in southern Italy, told Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano that members of the famous Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta have targeted the Pontiff after his crusade against corruption and money laundering.
The ‘Ndragheta, Italy’s wealthiest mafia, is thought to play a major role in cocaine trafficking in the country.
“Those who until now have been feeding off wealth and power that comes directly from the Church are nervous” Gratteri stated. “For many years, the mafia has laundered money and made investments with the complicity of the Church. But now the Pope is dismantling the poles of economic power in the Vatican, and that is dangerous.”
According to Gratteri targeting the Pope would be very difficult because the Vatican security services are considered among the best in the world. Although, he added “if mafia bosses could take him down they would not hesitate”.
In the past Pope Francis has called on the Mafia to repent for “exploiting and enslaving people”. On Monday he also gave an impassioned sermon against corruption, quoting a Bible passage that said officials who took bribes should be “tied to a rock and thrown in the sea”.