“Those who in their life have gone along the evil ways, as in the case of the mafia, they are not with God, they are excommunicated.” – Pope Francis
Well, that’s certainly a thing.
This seemed to me like a strange thing to do when I first read about it this morning, and as I’ve ruminated it’s only gotten more so.
For one thing, the proclamation seems of rather limited persuasive value. Mostly, you leave the mob when you die, whether you want that to be the case or not. And are there a great many people considering association with organized crime who will now stop and say “wait a minute, do I want to be excommunicated?”
More importantly, though, this will make some dangerous people unhappy. These businesses are conducted with extensive codes of honor. Further, however warped it may look from the outside, many of these people seem to have resolved their lines of work as consistent with their faith. Whether it’s genuinely settled or not, they’ve settled it with themselves, and they are likely to value said settlement highly.
Where is the upside of stoking potentially significant dissonance in people with guns who are capable of this rationalization?
I like Pope Francis. I hope he stays safe.