1. ITV Report

Pope says Mafia will 'end up in hell' if they do not repent

Pope Francis meets relatives of some of the innocent victims of the Mafia Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Francis has said that the Mafia will "go to hell" if they do not repent and renounce their "blood-stained money and blood-stained power."

He made the comments at a prayer vigil for relatives of innocent victims killed by the Mafia.

Among the names of 842 victims read aloud was three-year-old Nicola “Coco” Campolongo.

Last week, he was shot in the head along with his grandfather, 52-year-old Giuseppe Iannicelli.

Three-year-old Nicola “Coco” Campolongo was killed by the Mafia

Two-year-old Domenico Petruzzelli was also killed along with his mother and her companion in a mob hit.

The pontiff was strong to denounce these actions:

The power, the money, that you have now coming from so many dirty businesses, so many Mafiosi crimes, it's blood-stained money, blood-stained power, you can't bring it with you to your next life.


There's still time to not end up in hell, which is what awaits you if you continue on this path.

– Pope Francis
Pope Francis blesses a picture of one of the innocent victims being held up Credit: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

The former head of the anti-mafia unit, Gian Carlo Caselli, said there could be repercussions from the underworld to the Pope's speech:

This was Pope Francis' first major address to Italian victims of organised crime. He told the mobsters: "You had a father, a mother. Think of them. Weep a little. And convert yourselves."

An image of a victim of the Mafia is held during the service Credit: ITV News

ITV News Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy reports: