Pope to Mafia: Repent!

Pope Francis Meets Relatives of the Mafia's Victims
Franco Origlia—Getty Images Pope Francis, flanked by President of the Libera Foundation father Don Luigi Ciotti, left, arrives at St Gregory VII Church for a prayer vigil with relatives of the Mafia's victims on March 21, 2014 in Rome.

About 1,000 people attended a vigil for mafia victims at the church of San Gregorio VII in Rome where Pope Francis warned mobsters: “Blood-stained money, blood-stained power, you can’t bring it with you to your next life"

Pope Francis attended an annual vigil for mafia victims Friday and warned mobsters to change their ways or risk going to hell.

“This life that you live now won’t give you pleasure. It won’t give you joy or happiness,” he said, the Associated Press reports. “Blood-stained money, blood-stained power, you can’t bring it with you to your next life.”

“Repent,” Pope Francis said in his most forceful denouncement of organized crime to date. “There’s still time to not end up in hell, which is what awaits you if you continue on this path.”

About 1,000 people attended the vigil at the church of San Gregorio VII in Rome, where the names of 842 mafia victims were read aloud.

It was the first time a pope has attended the vigil, organized by the anti-mafia group Libera for the past 19 years, Reuters reports.

“You had a father, a mother. Think of them,” the Pontiff said. “Weep a little. And convert yourselves.”


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team