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Archbishop bans mafia from being godfathers

by Aaron James

According to AFP Archbishop Michele Pennisi, who leads the Archdiocese of Monreale (cathedral, above) near Palermo in Sicily, wants to reclaim the word back from organised crime syndicates who use 'godfather' to denote its leaders or respected members.

Sicily is the original home of the Italian mafia.

It comes after he previously received death threats and required police protection, after he publicly rebuked one of his priests for allowing a known mobster to be a godfather at his niece's baptism.

Archbishop Michele told the news agency: "The mafia has always taken the term godfather from the Church to give its bosses an air of religious respectability.

"Whereas in fact, the two worlds are completely incompatible.

"If someone has not been convicted we cannot judge people on rumours, without proof. If one of them admits to having done wrong, asks to be pardoned for the bad they have done - in that case we can discuss a path of conversion.

Pope Francis has previously said people who're part of the mafia are 'excommunicated' from the Catholic Church until they renounce ties with it.

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