Pope Francis could be at risk from the ‘Ndrangheta organised crime organisation, according to a leading anti-mob prosecutor who has himself been the target of threats from the mafia.
- Religion News Service/Ucanews
Nicola Gratteri, 55, a state prosecutor in the southern Italian region of Calabria, where the ‘Ndrangheta is most active, said the Pope’s effort to reform the church is making the ‘Ndrangheta 'very nervous.'
The organisation is considered by experts in Italy to be the most dangerous, most unified and most difficult to penetrate mafia-type organisation in the country. 'I cannot say if the organisation is in a position to do something like this, but they are dangerous and it is worth reflecting on,' Gratteri warned. 'If the godfathers can find a way to stop him, they will seriously consider it.
'Those who have up until now profited from the influence and wealth drawn from the church are getting very nervous,' he added. '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.'
Gratteri noted that in southern Italy, organized crime figures have strong and high-profile relationships with local church leaders, who help give the crime figures legitimacy.