Mafia Plots to Assassinate Pope Francis in Response to His Anti-Corruption Sermons
The pontiff’s life is in danger because his desire to sweep away corruption in ‘a total clean-up’ is making organised criminal groups “nervous”, the deputy chief prosecutor of Reggio Calabria, Nicola Gratteri, claimed.
Since Francis took office in April, he has made it clear that he intends to rid the Holy See of its corrupt ways and clean up the notorious Vatican bank, long used by money launderers.
He immediately dispatched the chairman of the IOR bank Gotti Tedeschi and subsequently forced his own number two Cardinal Bertone, who had been accused of corruption, into retirement.
In one of his first sermons as Pope he took aim at the mafia calling on them to repent for “exploiting and enslaving people”.
And earlier this week in his most impassioned sermon to date, the pontiff said that officials who took bribes should be “tied to a rock and thrown in the sea”.
Dr Gratteri said the members of the Calabrian Ndrangheta mafia are concerned by Pope Francis’s crusade against corruption, “wearing his iron crucifix, as he rails against worldly goods and plans a total clean up”.
He told the Italian newspaper: “Those that are in the financial arms of the mafia are concerned by Pope Francis, yes.
Those who until now have been feeding off the wealth and power that comes directly from the Church are agitated and nervous.”
He added: “Papa Bergoglio is dismantling the centres of economic power in the Vatican. If the bosses could take him down they would not hesitate.”
The prosecutor admitted that the mafia would not necessarily be capable of such a strike, with the Vatican security services some of the best in the world.
“I do not know if organised criminal gangs are in a position to do something, but they are certainly considering it. It’s a dangerous time for Pope Francis.”
In recent years, the Ndrangheta, based in Calabria, the “toe” of Italy, has become the largest, richest and most feared of the country’s three main criminal organisations.
Specialising in cocaine trafficking, the Ndrangheta controls some 80 percent of the market in Europe and has invested its profits in northern Italy, Germany and the US.
They have forged links with terrorist organisations worldwide and the drug cartels of South America.
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