Religion, Mafia and Church: an Ambiguous Relationship between Devotion and Secularization
Talking about men of honour’s religiousness and examining the relationships which have regulated the contacts between religious institutions and criminal organizations means dealing with various levels of analysis. First, it is necessary to understand the meaning of devotion and religious rituals in the mafia world, and the role which faith plays in the criminal context; then we must consider the attitudes, over time, that the Church has shown to mafias, analyzing both the official pronouncements of the Church hierarchies and the pastoral practices adopted by priests in their territories. Finally, we must neglect the analysis of crucial specific issues: the distinction between sin and crime; the perspectives of an Anti-mafia pastoral. Inside this multilevel context, the paper is focused on describing the latest developments in the relationship between the Church and the Mafia, observing how the analytical framework is becoming ever more complex because of the deep changes occurring in Mafia’s criminal systems, and because of emerging questions which demand more a sophisticated analysis.