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Catholics Tied to Mafia Could Be Excommunicated

The Vatican is eyeing a new legal doctrine
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 17, 2017 11:35 AM CDT
Catholics Tied to Mafia Could Be Excommunicated
Pope Francis looks on after his private audience with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the Vatican, Saturday, June 17, 2017.    (Ettore Ferrari)

(Newser) – The Vatican is looking to develop a new doctrine that calls for excommunicating Catholics for mafia association and corruption, the AP reports. That's the decision reached this week after the Vatican hosted its first-ever conference on fighting corruption and organized crime. The meeting gathered 50 prosecutors, bishops, victims, and UN officials for a day of talks.

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In a statement Saturday, the Vatican said the need had come to develop a new legal doctrine for the Catholic Church about "excommunication for corruption and mafia association." Pope Francis has long railed against corruption, writing a short book about it as archbishop. And during a 2014 visit to one of Italy's mafia strongholds, Francis told mobsters they were excommunicated. But actually developing a doctrine around the concept would mark a new step for the Vatican. (Read more Catholic Church stories.)

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