Pope condemns 'mafia' family during southern Italy visit

Pope Francis (R) arrives to lead a mass in Sibari, southern Italy, June 21, 2014. Credit: Reuters

Pope Francis has condemned mob violence during a visit to southern Italy, railing against one of the country's most notorious crime syndicates, calling it an example of "adoration of evil" and saying that all mafiosi are "ex-communicated."

The Pope, speaking about the Ndrangheta crime group during a mass in the southern Italy, issued the strongest attack on organised crime since the late Pope John Paul lambasted the Sicilian Mafia in 1993.

"Those who in their lives follow this path of evil, as mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated" Pope Francis said before a mass for tens of thousands of people.

He branded the Ndrangheta as the "adoration of evil and contempt of the common good" and said the Church would exert its full force in efforts to combat organised crime.