W. an introduction In a new book, published by Vatican News on March 31, the Pope questions what the life and death of Rosario Levatino has taught us.
The Pope, who declared Levatino a martyr in December, indicated that the judge was shot dead by young men paid for by the two Sicilian organized crime groups, Stida and Cosa Nostra.
He said Levatino’s last words were “Peccotti.” [młody mafioso], What I did to you?”
The Pope wrote: “These were the words of a dying prophet, giving voice to the mourning of a righteous man who knew that he did not deserve this unjust death.”
“These words were a cry against Herod of our time, those who, without looking innocently on their faces, even enlisted adolescents to become ruthless killers in the missions of death.”
Referring to the mafia’s distortion of Catholic piety, the Pope described Levatino’s last words as “a cry of pain and truth at the same time, which destroys their power on the armies of the Mafia, and exposes the contradiction inherent in the Gospel and the actions of the mafia. Despite the mafia’s pride of sacred images and sacred statues.”
The Pope’s comment came when the new Archbishop of Naples, Domenico Battaglia, began cracking down on the mafia’s use of religious imagery in his diocese. Battaglia ordered the removal of two photos of the mafia boss from a church in the Marano di Napoli suburb of Naples this week.