John Paul Back on Road Again: Pontiff Carries Anti-Mafia Crusade to Sicily

By Hebblethwaite, Peter | National Catholic Reporter, November 18, 1994 | Go to article overview

John Paul Back on Road Again: Pontiff Carries Anti-Mafia Crusade to Sicily


Hebblethwaite, Peter, National Catholic Reporter


What's all this talk about the Pope being ill? Put it in the past tense. Beyond any doubt, John Paul was back in top form as he went for the fourth time to the Mafia-infested island of Sicily. If Zagreb in September was his 62nd international trip, the visit to the industrial town of Catania Saturday, Nov. 5, was his 117th visit within Italy.

In Catania he said that Sicily "stands in need of rescue and liberation from the Mafia and from other occult forces." While he was speaking, a dead sheep with its throat cut was laid at the door of Don Gino Sachetti, a prison chaplain. An attached note said: "This is the way you will end." These people are not joking.

In September 1993, Don Giuseppe Puglisi was killed in Brancaccio, a district of Palermo, Sicily's capital. John Paul hailed Puglisi as "a courageous minister of the truth of the gospel." The pope thundered away not only against the Mafia but against "political groups who aim exclusively at power rather than service." In the present circumstances that could mean just about everyone.

He thundered some more against "corruption." And again "against the temptation of apathy, which leads to the fatalistic acceptance of evil," He thundered against the shrug of indifference. John Paul's message to Sicily has become clearer with each successive visit. He has pronounced veritable anathemas. The first came May 10, 1993, at Agrigento: "The Mafia offends against God! Those guilty of disturbing the peace will carry on their consciences the burden of so many innocent victims. They should understand that the killing of the innocent is not allowed. In the name of Christ slain and risen, I say to those responsible: Be converted! You will one day have to undergo God's judgment." Some of this had important political repercussions.

John Paul let the local bishops have their say, too. Luigi Bommarito, archbishop of Catania, denounced the Lega, which wants a federal Italy. Southern or mezzogiorno bishops see this as a way of consigning them to the Third World. In Sicily they already feel halfway to Africa.

But Bommarito also spoke of extortion, money-lending, unemployment and underemployment that provided the fertile breeding ground for the Mafia.

John Paul picked up this point. The aim is not only to lick the Mafia, but to lick the problems that give rise to the Mafia. Cardinal Salvatore Pappalardo, archbishop of Palermo, joined the pope in a televised meeting with some young criminals. With the throat-slit sheep in mind, Pappalardo was asked whether the Mafia is now targeting the church. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

John Paul Back on Road Again: Pontiff Carries Anti-Mafia Crusade to Sicily
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.