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 Credit: 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.

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:

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: