A church procession in southern Italy has been used by mobsters in an act of defiance to Pope Francis.
Members of the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate detoured the march, bringing it to a halt outside the house of their convicted boss.
The gesture made in honour of the Mafia chief has provoked disgust from Italy’s interior minister who applauded three policemen for abandoning the procession in disapproval.
Last month while on a visit to the ‘Ndrangheta stronghold of Calabria, Pope Francis denounced the syndicate for what he called its ‘adoration of evil’ and said its members were excommunicated.
‘Ndrangheta is a global cocaine trafficker. Mafia members traditionally revere religious rituals, which are said to hold an important place in the mobsters’ mentality.