Pope Francis says "It is also important to resist Mafia cultural colonialism, through research, study and training..."

Clementina room
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
I am happy to meet you today and to share, together with all those who are part of the Institutions you represent and your families, the thirtieth anniversary of your work in the service of the people. I thank the President of the Pontifical Academia Mariana Internationalis for his words. Fraternal coexistence and social friendship are possible where there are "houses" that implement the "pact between generations" by synodally preserving the "healthy roots" of those who have believed and believe in the beauty of being together that develops in dialogue, in kindness and support for justice for all. Thanks to these "houses" it is possible to build as a large family open to the common good, equal to the spread of a culture of legality, respect and safety for people and also for the environment.
All of you are actively engaged in building these "houses": they act as mild and strong antibodies against partisan interests, corruption, greed, violence, which are the DNA of mafia and criminal organizations. The mafias win when fear takes over life, which is why they take over the mind and heart, stripping people of their dignity and freedom from within. You who are here, do your best so that fear cannot overcome: you are therefore a support for change, a glimmer of light in the midst of darkness, a testimony of freedom. I encourage you to continue on this path: be strong and bring hope, especially among the weakest.
When security and legality are lacking, the first to be damaged are in fact the most fragile and all those who in various ways can be called "last". All of these are the modern slaves on which the mafia economies are built; they are the waste they need to pollute social life and the environment itself. I therefore urge you to come close to all these people, victims of bullying, trying to prevent and fight crime. It is also important to resist Mafia cultural colonialism, through research, study and training activities, aimed at certifying that civil, social and environmental progress arise not from corruption and privilege, but rather from justice, freedom, honesty and solidarity. Furthermore, the Mafia thought enters as doing a cultural colonization, to the point that becoming a Mafia is part of the culture, it is like the path that must be taken. No! This is not good. This is a path of slavery. Your work is so great to avoid this: thank you!
Your delicate and risky work deserves to be appreciated and supported. For my part, I encourage you to continue with enthusiasm, despite the presence in the social - and even ecclesial - fabric of some gray area in which it is difficult to perceive the clear distance from old ways of acting, erroneous and even immoral. It is necessary that everyone, at every level, decisively take the path of justice and honesty. And where there has been connivance and opacity, it is necessary to study the causes, leaving the right space for a healthy "shame", without which change is not possible and mutual collaboration for the common good remains a chimera.
Dear brothers and sisters, I thank you therefore for what you are and for what you do. Do not tire of placing yourself next to people with tenderness and compassion; become more and more promoters of this love for the people, for their life and for their future, which represents the synthesis of your own ideals, knowing that this love is able to generate new relationships and to give life to a more just order through "homes" and "families" enlivened by the ferment of equality, justice and fraternity.
I entrust you to the maternal protection of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, a woman of faith and hope. May she be the one to guide you in this significant mission, so that you can bear witness with joy to the Gospel of life. I accompany all of you with my prayers and the Blessing which I cordially invoke upon you and your families, and I ask you to pray for me. Thank you. Source: Vatican.va