Thousands of faithful Catholics today attended the beatification mass in Palermo, Sicily for Father Giuseppe "Pino" Puglisi who was murdered in 1993 by the Mafia for speaking out against the degenerate thugs as reported by AFP:
The proponent of Puglisi's beatification, archbishop Vincenzo Bertolone, said "his martyrdom was a signal for the irreparable and definitive rupture between the Bible and the mafia and other similar criminal syndicates."
Last year Pope Benedict XVI issued the decree naming Puglisi a martyr for being "killed in hatred of the faith" which clears his way for sainthood as then reported by Expatica Spain.
The Catholic Church once enabled -- if not outright facilitated -- the Mafia but the trend was reversed with the hit against Father Puglisi. Last November at a Rome meeting with Interpol officials Pope Benedict XVI condemned "organized crime as a 'gravely destabilizing threat' to society" as reported by the Associated Press, and the pontiff told delegates of the international law enforcement body that "the Church and the Holy See support all those who help to combat the scourge of violence and crime" as reported by ANSA.
The Archbishop of Naples became so disgusted with mobsters using religion as a cloak by which to disguise their evil that he "ordered his clergy to ban members of the mafia from attending church 'even if dead' unless they repent" as reported by ANSA.
Of course, it's a shame that the Church's message against organized crime has not yet reached across the shore given the number of American priests who continue to offer a cover for the mob in the name of pastoral duty.