Catholic Archbishop calls for an end to Mafia violence | Catholic National Register


Over the weekend, armed robbers entered a pizzeria in a suburb of Naples, pointing guns at families having dinner, including young children.

NAPLES, Italy – The Archbishop of the Italian city of Naples responded to a wave of deadly violence on Tuesday by calling on members of organized criminal groups to “convert.”

“They are killing Naples! The trail of blood that runs through the city these days, causing the death of young lives, terror and anguish in entire neighborhoods, streets, families, cannot leave us indifferent, ”Archbishop said Domenico Battaglia in an October 12 statement on the Archdiocese’s website.

His appeal follows the murder on October 9 of a 19-year-old man. Police are investigating the man’s links to the Camorra, a Naples-based criminal organization. A 23-year-old man was also killed last week.

Over the weekend, armed thieves entered a pizzeria in a suburb of Naples, pointing guns at families having dinner, including young children.

In his message, Bishop Battaglia addressed members of the Camorra and others linked to the crime.

“I say: become human again! Convert yourself! he said. “Your bishop will not hesitate to welcome and accompany the process of conversion and human rebirth of those who will listen to their conscience and the word of the Gospel, lay down their arms and undertake paths of collaboration with justice.

Archbishop Battaglia, 58, became Archbishop of Naples in December 2020. Prior to his appointment, he was pastor in another archdiocese in southern Italy, Catanzaro-Squillace, where he was called “Don Mimmo” and was known as the “street priest” who looked after the marginalized.

Archbishop Battaglia said this week that he and a group of young adults from the Archdiocese will travel to the Ponticelli neighborhood of Naples, one of the areas most affected by the recent escalation in Camorra violence.

“They are killing Naples! he reiterated. “The Camorra and the underworld are killing her, with the violence and cruelty of those who have forgotten they are human.”

He added that the indifference of the people and the inability to take a stand against the violence was also destroying the city.

“Under the cross of our city, we must today more than ever, together and without distinction of faith, policy, social and institutional role, stand up, avoid lying on our backs while waiting for something to change. himself and seated, hardened and resigned. to see Naples die, ”he said.

Addressing the mothers of Naples, especially those who live in difficult neighborhoods and family situations, he said: “Be an instrument of conversion for your children, help your families to repent, be again the womb that generates life and not the accomplices of the ways of death. “

Archbishop Battaglia will hold a meeting on October 13 with members of civil society, the private sector and the Catholic Church to work on an educational initiative for Naples.

“The children and young people of Naples cannot be passive recipients of change but must become its protagonists,” he said.

“To all the institutions, to civil society, to men and women of good will, to my Neapolitan Church, I ask today more than ever to walk together, overcoming individualism and mistrust, working together for give back to Naples its vocation as a city of peace, welcome and solidarity.

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