If you’ve already abdicated moral authority, what’s the good of threatening to use it?

I’m cynically amused at the latest news concerning the Mafia in Italy.

The Vatican is looking to develop a new doctrine that calls for excommunicating Catholics for mafia association and corruption.

That’s the decision reached this week after the Vatican hosted its first-ever conference on fighting corruption and organized crime.

There’s more at the link.

The Mafia has been going strong in Italy for a couple of centuries, despite active opposition from official, legal and Church circles.  If that had no effect on its bosses over such a long period of time, what makes the Vatican think that excommunication will produce better results?

There’s also the little point that, while priests who perpetrated sexual abuse on children have been defrocked in many (but not all) cases, the administrators and Bishops who appointed them, and in many cases simply transferred them instead of disciplining them, mostly got off scot-free, despite being accessories to the crime of child abuse, often both before and after the fact.  So much for the Church’s moral authority.  It no longer exists for many people . . . so what makes the Church think that mafiosi, many of whom are far more corrupt and evil than the average child molester, will think twice about defying its latest edicts?

No.  Like the much-touted measures against child abuse enacted by the US Catholic bishops, this is pious window-dressing, nothing more.  It will achieve nothing, except to let befuddled Church bureaucrats congratulate themselves that they’ve “done something”.  Same old, same old.



  1. Virtue signaling. Like prohibiting concealed carry on Church property. Does absolutely NOTHING to address any real problem, but assures the PTB that they are pure and virtuous.

  2. I can't help but wonder how Red Francis & Co. are going to fund continued destabilization efforts around the Western world without their preferred banking partners?

    Maybe he can write another encyclical and chase off more of the clergy who are trying to prevent him from consolidating power and creating another Holy Roman Empire. The real shame is that He's brilliantly attached efforts to curb this behavior with efforts like Amoris Laetitia to jam social change down the throats of the curia without addressing the disease that infests the Vatican from top down.

    IMO, the window-dressing needs to continue until the Boomers finish dying off and the last dollars from the West's coffers dry up. After that, it's gonna be Emperor Pope Perrone I.

    I suspect there's not going to be any cries of 'Santo Subito' when Bergoglio keels over.

  3. Even mob members like to get buried "in the church."

    Pete, I'm disappointed at the amount of black bile you loose on the Church. Men sin, and will pay for it–as you know–sooner or later. I am a resident of the Milwaukee Archdiocese and have far more reason to be unhappy than you do, by the way.

    Looking for rectification of all the world's ills? Don't look here and now. You'll go out of your mind.

  4. @Dad29: "Black bile"? No, not that. Grave disappointment, grief, real and righteous anger, yes – but not bile.

    As far as my approach to the Church is concerned, I find myself in the position of Mary Magdalen on Easter Sunday morning – see John 20:11-13. In my case, I find myself weeping (sometimes literally) because the bishops have taken away the Church in which I was raised, and in which I believed, and in which I was ordained – and I do not know where they have laid her. I would never have believed it possible for any God-fearing, truly apostolic Bishop to have abdicated his responsibilities in the way that so many of them have. It's tragic, and it's also terrifying – because if we can't trust the successors to the apostles, we're thrown back on God's grace and our own (completely inadequate) resources.

    Truly, mourning is appropriate – but that's not "black bile".

  5. Old school crime and corruption are one thing, but when the Mafia takes an anti-immigrant stand (of course, there's a business angle in that: new competition from crime families from Africa) they've gone too far.)

  6. bishops have taken away the Church in which I was raised, and in which I believed, and in which I was ordained – and I do not know where they have laid her.

    Somewhere in Theo 101 during seminary you learned that 'the Church' is NOT 'the men' or 'the women' who inhabit the buildings, or the cassocks–nor is it any one or dozen of the 'people in the pews.'

    Magdalene discovered Christ NOT in the tomb, no? Why do you expect to discover 'the church' in a tomb? She is not 'lain' someplace; she is eternally triumphant as is Her King.

    As I mentioned in a much different context a number of days ago, do not look for saints in all the wrong places (as the NeverTrumpers do, despising the flaws of Trump.) Look instead to the Cross and the tabernacle.

  7. In the fairly recent past, the Vatican Bank was implicated in a Mafia money laundering scandal, rather big time. Maybe the Vatican has cleaned up its financial act and their excommunication statement is a public signal to that effect. Who really knows, though.

  8. @Dad29: You've raised a point that is best answered at some length. I'll do so in the form of a blog article sometime during the next couple of days.

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