Pope hits out at Italian mafia: 'Fake Christians' who 'carry death in their souls'

Pope Francis hit out at the Italian mafia yesterday, calling them 'fake Christians' who 'carry death in their souls'.

The pontiff was giving his weekly general audience in the Vatican's St Peter's Square on Wednesday, where he told the tens of thousands gathered that 'these fake Christians will end up in a bad way,' according to The Telegraph.

'Let's think about what happens right here at home (in Italy), let's think about the so-called Christian Mafiosi', he said. 'They have nothing Christian about them. They claim to be Christian, but they carry death in their souls. We pray for them.'


The attack was part of a general address promoting integrity in the transformed life of faith. The true Christian, the Pope said, 'can no longer live with death in the soul, nor can he be the cause of death', whereas 'the fake Christian pretends to ask for forgiveness, but in their heart is rotten'.

He said the prevalence of a veneer of faith over a life of corruption was 'sad and painful' to see, according to Catholic News Agency.

The pope has spoken out against the 'evil' of the Italian mafia frequently throughout his tenure. In a visit to Mafia heartland Naples in 2015, he said: 'To the criminals and all their accomplices, today, I, humbly, as a brother, repeat: convert to love and justice.'

In 2017 he said the mafia phenomenon was a 'culture of death...radically opposed to the faith and the gospel', and said its criminal activities were 'stained with blood'.