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  • On Saturday, during his visit in the southern Italian region of Calabria, Pope Bergoglio did what no other Pope had done before: in a land infested by ‘ndrangheta, the local mafia crime organization, speaking during the mass he publicly and unequivocally declared that all ‘mafiosi’ are excommunicated from the Catholic Church
  • The Pontiff visits the Holy Land. Compassion is the key to understand his papacy and also the motivating force of this pilgrimage in the land of the great monotheist religions. There is a close connection between compassion and peace, the pain of the other as a way to restart dialogues once interrupted. “My home for Peace. Pope Francis, in the Holy Land, opens up San Peter’s doors and his own home to the revolution of Peace.
  • Nevertheless, only a new Council can grant Francis the ability to ensure global reform and fulfill the proposals of the Second Vatican Council. He needs the support of the entire Church, not just the battle cries of the crowds in Saint Peter’s or the outcry of the media.
  • In a moving homily in a Roman church Friday, Pope Francis addressed family members of the Italian victims of organized crime here in Italy. "I ask you on my knees to convert--there is still time for you not to end in the hell that awaits you if you continue," said the pope. His participation in the prayer vigil was organized by the Italian anti-Mafia association Libera, headed by Don Luigi Ciotti, to honor the annual "Day of Memory" for Mafia victims. This was the first ever meeting of a pontiff with the families of victims.
  • At the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ I listen to director Stefano Albertini introduce one of the greatest contemporary writers, Dacia Maraini. Maraini is launching her latest book, “Chiara from Assisi: Praise of Disobedience.” During the presentation, she is accompanied by NYU Professor Jane Tylus, author of “Reclaiming Catherine of Siena.”