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Mafia and Church

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เนื้อหาจัดทำโดย Steve and Organized Crime เนื้อหาพอดแคสต์ทั้งหมด รวมถึงตอน กราฟิก และคำอธิบายพอดแคสต์ได้รับการอัปโหลดและจัดเตรียมโดย Steve and Organized Crime หรือพันธมิตรแพลตฟอร์มพอดแคสต์โดยตรง หากคุณเชื่อว่ามีบุคคลอื่นใช้งานที่มีลิขสิทธิ์ของคุณโดยไม่ได้รับอนุญาต คุณสามารถปฏิบัติตามขั้นตอนที่อธิบายไว้ที่นี่ https://th.player.fm/legal

Title: Mafia and Church

Original Publication Date: 10/25/2023

Transcript URL: https://share.descript.com/view/BZyv8VrPajJ

Description: Today we have a special crossover episode between the History of the Papacy Podcast and Organized Crime and Punishment. Chris and Steve talk about how much religion, particularly the Catholic Church, has impacted the Mafia and how the Mafia has impacted the Catholic Church. This relationship goes far into the past and exists to this very day!

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Begin Transcript:

[00:00:00] Welcome to Organized Crime and Punishment, the best spot in town to hang out and talk about history and crime, with your hosts, Steve and Mustache Chris.

Thank you for joining me again today. I have a special program today featuring the brand new podcast I've launched with my co host, Mustache Chris. called Organized Crime and Punishment, a history and crime podcast. Organized Crime and Punishment takes the true crime genre and injects it with the heavy dose of the, uh, the much needed history podcast genre.

Mustache Chris and I will... Take you through [00:01:00] some of the most fascinating topics in organized crime throughout the history of the United States, and even beyond the United States. And a lot of it is actually gonna cross over with history of the Papa c and in coming episodes and seasons. Mustache. Why don't you introduce yourself to the history of the Papacy audience nicknames, uh, mustache.

Chris was the story behind that, but you'll have to listen to the new podcast too. Uh, Get why I have that nickname. I have a mustache, but there's a, there's a little more for it too. Yeah. I don't know if you ever listened to Steve's like beyond the big screen podcast. It became like quite frequent guest on there.

Um, you know, we're discussing movies and. You know, this, this new show that we're going to be doing, uh, came about because we were discussing mafia movies and we were both, uh, kind of history dorks and, um, you know, one thing led to another and the series just kept on getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

And we decided this, why don't we just do [00:02:00] a history of organized crime in general? You know, just we're going to do the mafia, but, you know, we're talking about doing, you know, all around the world. So we really, it was, we needed to get set free from being held back by. We had to tie something into a movie and we could really go where we wanted to go and follow the history.

Wherever it took us, and it's taking us in all sorts of interesting places, which really ties into today's episode. We're going to let you wet your beak a little bit on what Mustache Chris and I will offer in this new podcast series with an episode on the history of the Catholic Church and the Mafia.

We'll discuss a few of the people and events where the Mafia and the Church... Collided and crossed over. If you want to learn more and subscribe to organized crime and punishment, you can find it on Spotify, Apple podcasts, your podcatcher of choice, and on YouTube. And if you enjoy [00:03:00] what you hear, make sure you tell a friend about this podcast so that they can be friend of friends of ours.

So let me give you a little background, basically. The Roman Catholic Church has had a very strange relationship with various organized crime organizations in southern Italy since they formed in at least the 1800s and even earlier. The full history of the local organized crime outfits in Italy, such as La Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the Camorra, and the Campania region of Italy, and the Um, Ju.

Undrangheta of Calabria is really long and something we will get into more properly in the Organized Crime and Punishment podcast. As we've learned throughout this entire series on the popes of the 19th century, the popes hated secret societies that rose in the 19th century, like [00:04:00] the Carbonari, the Freemasons, and others.

And even though the La Cosa Nostra, the Camorra, the Uyghurs, and the Calabrians, the Calabrian Gondreta, where secrets, were secret societies and the popes and the church in general hated secret societies. These mafia societies were really quite different than the secular societies. You've read into those ones a bit, Chris.

What do you, what would you say about that? Oh, like the differences between the, like, three, uh, types of three major mafias the more secular, uh, secret societies. Yeah, like, La Cosa Nostra is pretty predominant. That's Sicily's, uh, mafia, really. Um, it's... You know, has a very, uh, hierarchical kind of structure to it.

Um, you know, non Sicilians, you have to be Italian, but non Sicilians could join in the, uh, La Cosa Nostra, right? Um, and it was [00:05:00] like the, the big area where it was based in, but it's on all of Sicily, but Palermo is like the big hotbed of La Cosa Nostra activity. Um, yeah. After the, I would say kind of after the second mafia war, which is not to go down too much of a rabbit hole, they kind of took a step down.

The Camorra, which is, uh, based in, uh, is, I'm sorry, the Camorra is actually probably the oldest out of the all three of the, uh, mafias. Um, it's, uh, I believe from what I've researched, it predates Locosa Nostra, it predates the, uh, the Adrangata. Um, yeah. Yeah, and it's very, it's different than the Locos Nostra in the sense that it's, uh, kind of loosely affiliated.

Like, there is an organizational structure, but it's more kind of like individual cells, like working somewhat together, but also like competing against one another. And the Andrangita, which is based in Calabria, um, is, uh, it's kind of like, it's You know, all [00:06:00] these are all, they're all mafia, so there's a lot of similarities between them, but the Adrangata is, uh, really, really, really, really secretive, and one of the things that kind of makes it unique that, at least from the information that we have available to us, where like, guys in like, they have like family, Say, in La Cosa Nostra, a lot of fathers who try to push to not have their kids join, where in the, with the, the Andrangita, it's the exact opposite, really, like you, they push for their entire families to join and keep it as, like, close knit family wise as possible.

I mean, in some ways it, it, it was kept it from being able to expand, say, like the, like, uh, Lacosa Nostra did, but in a lot of ways it's proven to be highly effective because, uh, as of right now, they're probably the most powerful out of all three of them. Now one big difference between the secular secret societies like the Carbon [00:07:00] and the Freemasons, they were Virulently Virulently, anti-Christian and anti Roman Catholic Church.

And at least on the surface, and I thinking, uh, you might say hourly, but even deeply, these. Were these organizations of the mafia were devoted to the Roman Catholic Church, its institutions and its practices and like many other cultures, the southern Italians were very invested in the folkways of the religion and see the episodes on the resortimento with Joe Pascone of the Turning Tides History podcast to learn more about that.

All of this leads into What is the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Mafia? You would think, well, maybe the Roman Catholic Church should be against the Mafia. Maybe they should be completely against the Mafia. That makes us want to, makes me want to talk about this [00:08:00] issue and lay down some groundwork of what is excommunication.

Excommunication traditionally doesn't mean someone who is permanently booted out of the church, as we might propose. popularly imagined. Anathematizing is the final booting out where someone isn't welcome back. And even then, if the person repents, there is usually some path to back, to get back in the church.

And I did, I've done many episodes on this topic throughout the podcast, including several episodes on the late antiquity and early middle ages controversy over Novationism and Donatism, which we can actually talk about in this episode as we go along. These issues get very confused in modern Christianity, especially in places like the United States and the Anglosphere because of the Puritans and the Reformation in early American history.

Their theology is not really. applicable to Catholic theology on [00:09:00] salvation, but that's a whole different issue. So, and really, excommunication means exactly what it says, being out of communion with the church. In other words, not being able to participate in the central sacrament of the church. Communion, no church leader is going to take that lightly, no matter how pious or corrupt they might be.

So let's keep this in mind and this whole idea of what the church ideal is, even when the institution is at its very best or fails completely. At that ideal, and I think that this will be a very informative conversation. Let's take a look at a few examples from Italy and the U. S. to see what the Roman Catholic Church had to say about these issues.

So the first one is the mafia and the church in Italy, and this is a huge topic, but I really, we decided to take a one small chunk of it. Now, southern Italy [00:10:00] is by far the most religious part of the country, and this was the case back during the post enlightenment period of the 18th and the 19th centuries, and it's very much the case all the way up till today.

In many places, the leader of the local mafia is also the local leader of the government. And also the biggest proponent of the church. Steve here again. We are a member of the Parthenon podcast network featuring great shows like Josh Cohen's eyewitness history and many other great shows go to Parthenon podcast to learn more.

And now here's a quick word from our sponsors.

Yeah, I think it's something that's kind of a little bit. Difficult for, um, American and Canadian audiences to understand, even just like Western Europeans, I think, in [00:11:00] general, like Southern Italy is, in a lot of ways, is not what we would consider like a well functioning society, you know, for most of its history, where, well, there's a lot of history to it, you know, like you, you've talked about it on your podcast, like places like Sicily and Southern Italy have had like, you You know, being conquered many, many times, many different rulers from different parts of the world.

Um, and, you know, it's like, just certain institute, like certain things that, like, just don't run properly, like, you know, like a court of law or like, if the groceries are going to be on the shelf to buy. You know, when the government is it's not even so much like the government doesn't want to have this type of powers.

There's a lot of the times they're just incapable of being able to exert this kind of control. And once they're not able to kind of exert that control, it's usually local mafias in the case of Sicily, but it's usually like a local gang or a local baron or you know, You know, like the local rich guy ends up taking up the, [00:12:00] uh, the duties of that would regularly be that would typically be, um, divvied out to say, like the state government or even the local, like a municipal government, or in some cases, the federal government, right?

Where most of these types of governments have, uh, Failed, you know, and even when they sometimes are, they are running properly, they're running corruptly. And there's a whole history to it too. And, uh, this region of Italy of just the distrust of the government, because of what, as I pointed out, a lot of its history was, you know, you had like French people were there, like French rulers were there, and then it was like Spanish rulers were there.

And. All different types of rulers, you know, even you want to go further back, you know, the Muslims were running this region for a while too, right? The Moors, um, so for most of Southern Italy's history, it's kind of been ingrained in the people that you really can't trust the local authorities because, I don't know, they're usually trying to rip you off [00:13:00] or they're corrupt or they're treating you like a conquered people.

And then this attitude persists to this day. I mean, it's gotten a little bit better when kind of, Just how, like, the seriousness of, like, just how, um, evil the mafia is, um, in Southern Italy. And if, you know, a couple brave judges and a couple of brave people have spoke out about, um, um, the evils of the La Cosa Nostra and the mafias in these regions, but it's still relatively Still kind of functions like this.

It really is. Like if you go to southern Italy, I haven't been personally, but everything that I've read, it's you, you're reading about this. And it's like, this doesn't sound like Europe. And in a lot of ways, it isn't, I think it's, yeah, I, I absolutely agree with that. The local local. Government of your brother or you're basically your tribesmen, they might be pretty evil, but at least they're putting food on your table.

They're evil, but they're a little less. [00:14:00] Evil than the way that the central government of say that was coming out of Rome or going back to the Naples or whatever they were, they were rotten evil, and they were just looking to basically steal everything from these people, at least the local. Bad guy was a little bit better and a little bit better at protecting your slight rights than what was coming from the centralized government and really the leader of a local government was usually connected very tightly to the church because they didn't have it.

Any of this idea of a separation of church and state, and in many instances, and in many places around the world, that distinction would be absurd, like, in our world view, that is the most enshrined thing, really, in our culture, is that religion in the state is, should [00:15:00] it be absolutely separated, but there's a lot of places around the world that they would think you were a lunatic for separating them.

But for most of human history, that's the case. And for the vast, like that, you know, for most of the world, it seems like a really crazy concept. I mean, I use like, kind of like a modern example, look at Afghanistan, you know, uh, the Taliban's back in power and when the Taliban derives their authority from, you know, religion, the religious institutions, but mainly, you know, being like a religious force for Islam and look at Iran.

You know, India is slightly different in the sense that it's a little bit more secular, but like, you really can't separate, like, Indian government and, uh, Hinduism. You just, the two were kind of insep like, you can't really separate the two of them. Uh, Japan up until, uh, I mean, literally, they worshiped the emperor as a god up until World War II for most of its history.

It [00:16:00] only stopped doing that. Well, I don't, I, I wouldn't say they even really stopped doing it. They just kind of directed it in a different, different way. But in Russia, as an example, um, yeah, like the, the, uh, the Orthodox Church was kind of, uh, marginalized and pushed to the side when the communists took over.

As soon as the Soviet Union fell, that separation of church and state just went away, like, for most of its history, like, uh, you know, it's hand in hand again, um, I mean, even England, like, even if you look at England, I mean, in theory, technically, the queen is the head of the, the state, uh, religion too, I mean, it practically has not ran like that, and, but, you Yeah, for most of human history, this, even I think it's kind of a crazy concept where, like, in the States and over here in Canada, we have this, like, strict separation of, like, the church and the state.

I think it's, I think it's kind of crazy why we're so adamant about that, but, I [00:17:00] mean, that's a, that's a discussion for another podcast. Now, the Sicilian La Cosa Nostra boss, they said that all men of honor consider themselves Catholic, and I think that really shows that, at least by their ideal, if you're a mafia member, you're also a Catholic, and that's going to seem kind of strange how those two things that are seemingly at odds with each other will Have to be mushed together.

It's kind of like two poles of a north and a south of the magnet getting pushed against each other. And they you would think they repel that in this case, they don't necessarily repel. Yeah, it's interesting, like, because even if you look at other different type of organized crime organizations around the world, like, I'll use Eastern Europe as an example, like using, uh.

Kind of religious iconography, like you'll see, uh, [00:18:00] them, you know, wearing rosaries and having, like, uh, uh, tattoos of, like, uh, religious, like, uh, religious saints and what have you on their body. Um, I just said, I was thinking that now because I just recently watched that movie, Eastern Promises, and that's all filled with.

Russian mafia and they all have these religious tattoos and it's not a meme. It's, it's an actual thing. Um, as the same thing with Southern, uh, with the mafias in Southern Italy and even in the cartels too, like a lot of these, a lot of these guys end up being high up in the cartels and running the cartels, they could.

They consider themselves religious too. It's, it's, uh, I, I don't know how they reconcile the two things. I don't, I don't think they, I mean, in their minds they must, right? But I don't see how they're able to do it. And that really went for the, the mafia organizations all across Italy. Bosses or their families or their associates would get pride of place in religious processions, which were, uh, which, Were and [00:19:00] are a very popular form of do devotion and they would get many other perks within the church.

And a lot of these mafia guys, like you were saying, are honestly truly religious too. They go to church all the time. They pray. They are maybe the more, the most pious people. And it is, it's a hard, uh, circle to square. If that's the right idiom, there's square to circle or whatever you're going to say, but you know what?

You get, get my drift. It's a hard thing to wrap your mind around. I, the only thing I can kind of think of is the way they, I guess, rationalize in their head. It's like, well, I'm actually not participating in any of this stuff. Like I might provide it, but I'm not forcing anyone to do this. And we live in a sinful fallen world and.

I, they're choosing to live a life of sin, whereas I'm choosing to live a pious life in some circumstance, like some of these guys just straight up, like, aren't pious at all too, [00:20:00] right? And they don't pretend to be otherwise, but some of them do truly feel like they are, um, like I'm living a pious life. I'm donating to the church.

I'm doing this and that, uh, helping out my local community in their odd sort of way. I guess you could rationalize it to yourself, or like, I'm not forcing anybody to do any of this stuff that I'm providing. They're choosing to do it, and like, my conscience is fine. I mean, I guess it kind of makes sense. I mean, if you're running like, say, McDonald's and be, as the CEO, should he feel really bad that he sells, like, Garbage food to the American public and the Canadian public that like causes diabetes and obesity.

And I would argue, yeah, you probably should. Do you know what I mean? But we don't really look at it that way. Um, I guess, I guess that would be the kind of round, you know, logic behind it. Does that make sense to you? And really, a number of political tides kept the Mafia and the Church as a strange coalition [00:21:00] even after the Risorgimento and the national formation of Italy throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

The rise of anti religious parties, uh, took control in the state, and these parties left, of the left usually, and even the fascists were aligned against the interests of southern Italy. Along with the papacy in the Catholic church, Pope's during the 20th century made at least lip service to distancing themselves from the mafiaa, but it was, it really was a challenging situation from them.

Pope Francis, the first who became Pope in 2013, has recently pushed back against the mafia in Italy saying that brothers and sisters cannot be both in the church and in the mafia. As with many of Francis pronouncements, much can be read into his statements and much will depend on what other bishops and prelates do in individual situations.

Francis has also [00:22:00] tried to take away some of the devotional practices used by the Mafia towards things like the Virgin Mary and the processions. Ties between various mafia factions like the Andrangheta and the Vatican Bank still exist to this very day, and they're really just getting exposed to this very day.

Yeah, the Andrangheta is like, probably, most people probably never even heard of the Andrangheta, to be honest with you, but, um, Yeah, like I pointed out earlier, like, they're based in the Colabrio region. There's actually a huge presence of the Andrangheta where I live right now, in southern Ontario. Um, a lot of the, uh, Mafia, at least the top Mafia in this area is, they're Durangata, um, and we're not quite sure exactly, just kind of a side note, we're not quite, we think that they're kind of running on their own, but there's still people theorize that they're taking orders directly from Calabria.

It's just a little interesting tidbit, little rabbit hole. I've been trying to go down and [00:23:00] trying to find out exactly how it runs. Um, yeah. Yeah, but, uh, the adrenaline has very, they have, like, a very strong ties to the, uh, to the cartels and, uh, South America. And then most of the drugs that ends up getting import, like, imported into Western Europe, it's usually.

The Adrengata will be buying the drugs, say, from the cartels, and then they ship them to Calabria, and then from Calabria, it goes into Western Europe. Um, virtually, from my under, from my reading, almost all of it come, uh, it can be traced right back down, traced right back to the Adrengata. Very interesting.

And we should also mention there has, uh, have been many priests and bishops who have stood up to the mafia in Italy and have really paid the price and violence for doing so. There's a particular priest named Father Pino Pugliese, who was killed in the 1990s. And there are plenty of stories of priests who supported the Mafia and were even [00:24:00] related to them.

Now we're going to move into a very interesting example of a Mafia family connection to the church. That's in a man named Joe Profaci and the Catholic Church. Can you give us a little background on Joe Profaci? Yeah, so Joe Profaci, he was the founder of the Profaci family. Most people probably know him as the Colombo family, which is what they later ended up becoming.

Um, kind of, he was, um, I think they, he took, um, A lot of inspiration from, uh, the godfather took a lot of inspiration from Joe Profaci because he ran like an olive oil, uh, importing business. Um, he was kind of like an old school, uh, mafioso. Um, one of his daughters married, I believe it was one of Joe Bonanno's, I think it was Joe Bonanno's son.

And that wedding, the FBI had like tons of pictures of it. And I think they used that as the [00:25:00] inspiration for the godfather. The big wedding at the beginning of that movie. Um, yeah. And he was kind of like a conservative, he was kind of like a conservative member of like a mafia wing within the commission.

Um, yeah. And he considered himself like very religious. Like he donated tons and tons and tons and tons of money to the, uh. To the church, you know, like to the point where people were pushing for him to get a, like a knighthood in the, the Knights of Columbus at Pro, like you were saying, pro Joe Profaci was a huge and very devout Catholic w with his massive wealth, a game from both the Mafiaa and his hugely successful legal, legal businesses.

He was a significant patron of the church, and he attended a particular church called St. Bernadette's Church in Brooklyn. He was members of the Knights of Columbus, the men's organization, which in a way [00:26:00] operates very similarly to one of the secret organizations like the Freemasons, but it is Catholic and he was a kind of a member of it.

That's a whole different story, but we're going to focus in on one particular story today. He even had a private altar in the basement of his home where he could have private masses served. Now, many of the Italian American Catholic leaders wanted a papal knighthood for Profaci, but there was actually a fair amount of pushback against that in various quarters, so it never really happened.

But there's a really Fascinating story about Joe Profaci and the stolen crown like that could be the title of it. Joe Profaci and the stolen crown. There was a really high expensive and highly ornamented crown that was made for the Brooklyn church that Joe attended. The crown had jewels that were worth over 100, 000 U.

  1. dollars Back in the 1950s where 100, [00:27:00] 000 meant something. Now there's people buy cars for 100, 000 and it's not that nice of a car. But, um, back then 100, 000 was a lot of money. Anyway, Joe This crown was stolen, and Joe made it his mission to find out who did it, and eventually the thief, a jewel thief named Ralph Amino, returned the crown, somewhat desecrated, with a few jewels missing.

Supposedly, Joe had a contract put out for this thief, and one way or another, Ralph Amino was found shot dead in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn. A local paper reported Amino was even refused Catholic burial service for his crime, even though he was never convicted or even arrested for it. And some...

Sources even say that he, maybe he wasn't shot, or he was shot later, but [00:28:00] that he was strangled to death with a rosary. Joe Profaci died of cancer in 1962, and he was given a full Catholic burial at St. Bernadette's and is buried in St. John's Cemetery, a Roman Catholic cemetery. Yeah, it's interesting because like some, you know, when we get into when you guys start listening to the, the other podcast, we'll get into some of these mob guys didn't, they were denied a Catholic funeral.

They were denied, uh, um, from the local pastor or what have you, or the church just straight up. So like, we're just not doing this. It's interesting that Joe got, I guess, because he would, I guess he was so devout and he donated so much to the church and maybe the extent of what He was up to, wasn't quite well known, you know.

Like, Joe Profaci was a drug dealer. He was an rocketeer. You name it, this guy was doing it. It's just, it's so bizarre to me that, like, people were pushing for him to get a [00:29:00] knighthood. I think Joe Profaci, in particular, he was so insulated with his legitimate businesses. I think it would be easy to just say, well, Hey, he's an olive oil merchant.

And I think, I think that that is the thing that probably insulated him more than other people. It would be hard to say that somebody who had never been. convicted or hardly even arrested of any crimes. I'm not, I can't recall offhand if he had been arrested many times, but it's hard to say that you can say we're not going to give you a Catholic burial to a guy who, at least on the surface, is completely legit.

Yeah, you know, other than, like, he was caught up in, like, some drug smuggling, like, charges, but the nothing ever were stuck, and, I mean, there was, if people wanted to kind of scratch a little bit underneath the surface, they could see, like, uh, where's Joe getting [00:30:00] all of his money, right? But... Like you said, like he did run a successful olive oil business, you know, um, from, by all accounts, he, Joe, wasn't like a, like, it wasn't like a psychopath.

So he wasn't say somebody like, uh, like gas pipe castle or anything like that. Right. But, um. Yeah, it's just interesting. Like some of these guys got Catholic funerals and others were denied it. We're going to talk now about a Catholic churchman and a cardinal in the church, a very high ranking person, Francis Spellman.

And the setting is the late 19th century. Forties, early 1950s, really the beginning of the cold war. And this tale matches up the Catholic church, the mafia, the CIA, the cold war, the FBI and communisms now communist parties were taking over all over Europe in the aftermath of world war two. And. If you know your history, the U.

  1. government wanted to stop that trend immediately in [00:31:00] Italy, especially at where the Communist parties were really growing rapidly. And the big thing that was needed was money. And who had tons of money and ways to move it around internationally and secretly, especially to Italy, I think you can make your guess on that the Catholic Church and the mafia money was funneled.

All over the U. S. into Europe for anti communist measures by the Catholic Church and the Mafia. Connections to drug trafficking in the Vatican Bank were all involved. And this is very much scratching the surface here with stuff that's just starting to come out now. So look for more connections between the Vatican Bank.

The Mafia and anti communist activities soon. This is not tinfoil hat stuff here. This is stuff that's coming out right [00:32:00] from CIA archives and Vatican archives. So let us know if this is a topic that you find interesting because I find it very interesting. Yeah, so do I myself, like, uh, just, you mentioned that book and I started reading it and started getting into it a little bit, and just like, just from researching the Mafia in general, like, there's always been this kind of theory, at least in Italy, that.

Like Benito Mussolini had like smashed the, uh, the mafia in a lot of ways. He actually, he did do this. Like he did smash the mafia in Southern Italy is one of the few leaders that was able to do it. He didn't smash it completely, but he definitely weakened it. And there's always been kind of a conspiracy theory, at least on the left in Italy, that like the Americans allowed the mafia to come back into place.

Like to come back into Southern Italy because they were afraid that the, the communists would fill the gap and it was actually the American government that propped up the, uh, the mafia back in Southern [00:33:00] Italy, uh, as like a stop gap against, uh, um, the communists from taking over. I mean, in a lot of ways that there's people that theorize it, but even with the labor movement and in the United States where the American government came to the conclusion, it's like, well.

We could stop these mafia organized crime types from getting into these unions. But if we stop them from getting into these unions, then the communists are going to get into the union. So they kind of, they pick the, they pick the mafia over the communists. No, I'm not saying that's, uh, it's just the theory that has gone out there.

Um, that this is kind of maybe what happened in, uh, both of these regions. You know, I, I can't say with 100 percent certainty, but, uh, just from my personal research, it definitely makes a lot of sense. I mean, if you're going to have to choose, if you're going to choose between communists and the mafia, the mafia, you can kind of somewhat understand, it's like, oh, they just want to make money where, like, the communists want [00:34:00] to do, like, You know, we're not talking like communists that you talk to on the internet, like at this time they were like legitimate communists, like they wanted to overthrow the government, so if you have to choose between the two, the mafia doesn't want to, they just want to be left alone, you know, they're not trying to overthrow the government.

Steve here again with a quick word from our sponsors. Our last tale is going to be more recently, it's really something that's, a story that just wrapped up itself within the last year or so of the early part of the 2020s, and that is And this tale takes place in the United States in the Italian American phenomena that developed in the United States and that's really largely the focus of this first series of the organized crime and punishment podcast and we're going to talk about Father [00:35:00] Louis Gigante, a Catholic priest who was the brother of not one but Two notorious mafia figures, boss of the Genovese family and lifelong play actor at being mentally ill, Vincent the Chin Gigante and Genovese family capo Mario Gigante.

This guy, Father Louis Gigante lived a crazy life. Chris, can you give us just a little background on his famous mafia brother, Vincent the Chin Gigante? Yeah, I've been, yeah, and I, it's incredible that there hasn't been a movie made about this guy, but yeah, Chinchiganti was, uh, probably one of the most powerful mob bosses in the United States ever.

Um, he was the leader of the Genovese family. Um, he's most famous, the Genovese family had this unique structure where they have like, they would have like a front boss. And in this case, it was Tony Salerno. He was like the front boss. So this was the boss that, You know, the cops would be looking at and thinking [00:36:00] was the boss of the family.

And then there was the actual boss behind the scenes. And this was, uh, Vincent, the chin gigantic, but like, you think, oh, that's enough secrecy, right? No, like Vincent, the chin gigantic took it up a notch where he decided that he was going to spend the vast majority of his life acting crazy. Um, so people wouldn't think he was a mafia boss.

So we're talking about stuff, you know, walking around, like exposing himself in a bathrobe and. On the streets and, you know, peeing in corners and mumbling to himself and going to like weekly psychiatric meetings where he would get like referrals saying like, yep, he crazy. And if the cops showed up to the house, there's one famous story of him.

Showering with his suit on, shaving. You know, like, it's just like a really crazy story, man. Um, yeah, and like I said, it's incredible that there hasn't been a movie made about this guy. I just even think they would make a movie about him. Um... Yeah, and, uh, this, this [00:37:00] act worked for a really long time, like, pretty much right up until he finally admitted that he wasn't crazy, but, you know, for years and years and years and years, he kept it up, he would show up to court, you know, in a bathrobe and muttering to himself, and, you know, even the, even the mob guys who kind of knew that it was kind of an act, like, some of them would say, like, you know, they'd talk after, they're talking afterwards, and like, we weren't entirely sure at the time whether how much of it was an act and how much, You know, wasn't an act because he even had like the mob guys convinced.

That's how convincing he was for many priests. I mean, honestly, being a priest is a full time job, and it's a lonely one at that, being that most of them are celibate. Being that most of them are celibates, but not for Louis Giganti, Louis lived with his common wall, common law wife in the, in a pretty solid middle class New York suburb, New York city suburb, [00:38:00] and he even had a son they lived like.

Typical, classical, suburban family, except as, uh, Louis son said, Dad went to work on Sunday mornings. And most priests, even if they don't exactly take a vow of poverty, they don't get rich on the job. Again, not so for Lewis. When Lewis died, he left in a state of over seven million dollars. And he made that money through various positions he held in both non profit and for profit, building and building maintenance ventures in the South Bronx area of New York City.

We don't know exactly for sure if Lewis was connected to the mafia, an informant claimed he was, but, uh, never testified to that fact. But the types of businesses that Lewis made as fortune and certainly smell of the [00:39:00] mafia, and they were certainly very They lived in, they lived in the very same areas that the mafia would dominate, like building, construction, building maintenance.

Lewis defended his brother up and down and never apologized for being married, essentially being married, having a son. Honestly, he was proud of it. He was proud of it that he was rich. He was proud of it that his brother was chin gigante. I'm in the sky. I'm honestly shocked I've never heard of him before, until I started poking around.

This is another guy who should have a movie after him. Yeah, maybe the two of them together type, like, you know, do a movie about both of them, do like a part one, a part two, or something, um. Yeah, I mean, Lewis wouldn't, wouldn't not just like Lewis would for years and years and years like defend his brother, you know, like, you know, this guy's not mafioso.

He's not involved in drug trap. He's not [00:40:00] involved in any of this stuff. Like, what are you guys talking about? Um, very like vocal support of his brother. Um, you know, he gets it is really wild story. Like, like, how was he not kicked out of the church? Like, well, he not kicked out of the church, but how was he not kicked out of the priesthood after he had like, He clearly was not living an excellent life and he had a son, like, I don't, you're more familiar with that.

That really comes down to, and that gets us into a, a wrapping up of the episode of today is that it's very difficult for the church to enforce the rules. Exactly. And strictly because as much as you might have the Pope lay down a certain set of rules and canons in Rome, and that's kind of what the Catholic Church sells it as is that we have a Pope.

We have a central authority that makes centralized decisions, but it's really how it's enforced on the [00:41:00] ground. And the Pope doesn't necessarily have a many mechanisms to leapfrog over the local bishop who would be the one who would have to put that priest into trouble. And I mean, honestly, it's such a big organization.

It would be very difficult for a Pope to know. And then get involved. And I think that's how a lot of the problems that the Catholic Church had throughout the 20th century and into the 60s, the 70s, and even into the modern age is that as much as it is hierarchical, there's a lot of places for people to hide in that big of an organization.

And that really comes into how we can see a lot of connections between the papacy, the Catholic Church, and the mafia. And what... Should, you brought up the question, what should the Catholic Church have done with the Mafia during the Golden Age of the Mafia, and what should they do [00:42:00] now with the Mafia in Italy and the United States?

What do you, uh, what do you think about that? Well, I mean, during the Golden Age, it's, they were pretty silent, uh, about, about it all. I mean, in their defense, like, the FBI, like, J. Edgar Hoover pretty much denied the existence of the Mafia until almost, like, the 1960s. Uh, it was the Appalachian Meeting was basically when he's like, okay, I guess we can't deny it anymore.

Um, um, even though he knew that he was denying it and maybe at one point, like, early on, he didn't think it was the thing, but It shouldn't have taken that meeting for him to come out and recognize that, like, yes, the locosanostra is a real thing, and it is in the United States, and it's a very bad problem in New York.

Um, the church should have, uh, in my opinion, just vehemently denounced it. Don't, you know, don't accept donations from people like Joe Profaci. Um... You know, like, lead a campaign or something that says, like, you can't serve [00:43:00] two masters. It's right there in the Bible. Like, you can't be mafia and you can't be part of the church.

It's either you're part of the church or you're part of mafia. They're two... They can't... You can't be a mafioso and... Claim to be a Christian. You just, you just can't. You can rationalize it in your head all you want, but you really can't, you know, to become a made guy, you know, we didn't get into this, but like to become a made guy, you have to make your bones, right?

Which means you have to kill another person. You know, that's usually once you make your bones, uh, that's, you know, you're for that's okay. Yeah, you're good. You can get made. You can actually officially become a made guy and be, uh, yeah. You know, part of the inner sanctum of the mafia. I'm like, I don't know that.

I think there's a thing or two in the that tells you not to do that. I could be wrong. I think that this we can put our theologians hats on. Uh, we're armchair historians were armchair philosophers. We might as well be armchair theologians. I [00:44:00] think the organized crime and crime in general puts a religious organization like The like a Christian church in a really tough position because theologically speaking, and you look at the scope of the history of the church, the church is the hospital of sinners and just skim your gospels for a minute or two, and you'll see Jesus points.

weren't about the pious. I mean, in a lot of ways, Jesus was making points against the pious. He was talking to the sinners. I mean, casting the first stone, the woman in the well, the publican and the Pharisee, the thief on the cross, Zacchaeus, you name it. These are the people that Jesus was talking to in, in the gospels.

And Western Christianity has taken that theology, added to it, taken some away. But to me, it's, um, It's undeniable that Christianity's focus isn't on the righteous, it's on the sinner. And how [00:45:00] can they say, well, you're, you're somebody who's a sinner, but you're completely out. I think that that would, it would honestly cripple the, the, the organization of the church, theologically speaking, because then at what point.

It's a, you know, the old cliche of the slippery slope. When do you say that somebody is actually pure enough to be in the church? My argument would be like, like Jesus had pointed out, like you can't serve two masters. If somebody who say was a mafioso sincerely comes to the church and repents and says, you know, like, I'm not going to, I'll just, I don't know, I'll use John Gotti as an example, right?

Say, let's just say, in theory, John God, he says, you know what? I'm out. I'm not mafia. I'm not a mafia boss anymore. I denounced my former, uh, Locoza Nostra life and he comes to the church and he repents and, you know, does the sacraments and in. Uh, you know, his [00:46:00] community service and yada, yada, yada, like, you know, does all the things or so that he's a repentant, uh, Christian, you know, reads his Bible studies, his theology, um, then yeah, for sure, you know, the vast majority of people.

They're not going to change that fundamentally. They really aren't. Um, and it's sad, to be honest with you, but like, you know, Jesus had a line I'm trying to remember right now, like, getting into heaven, uh, is, uh, I think it was like, what was it? A rich man getting into heaven is about as easy as a camel going through the eye of a needle.

You know, he says it's hard. You know, and the most people aren't going to do it. Uh, so yeah, in theory, like if, say, John Gotti decided and say he, he, he did all the things I had just listed, then yeah, but you can't go to the church and be like, oh, I'm sorry for, you know, murdering this person on Sunday and then go two weeks later and go like, well, [00:47:00] sorry, I had to do it again.

But, you know, it's just not how it works. But I, I don't see how they can close the doors on those people because that's fundamentally against the religion. I mean, bring up the, I mean, we can look at historical examples, but if you even bring it back to the Gospels, the thief on the cross, he's on his deathbed and he, he, uh, acknowledges the religion.

And Jesus says that I'll see you in, I can't remember the exact quote, but basically I'll see you in heaven this evening. Theoretically, at least the church is supposed to be, the doors are supposed to be open to the people until the bitter end. And like I said, and I'll, I'll get a lot of hate mail on this when I think, but crack your Bible open, look at the early church writers.

really mostly anything up until the [00:48:00] Reformation. And it's hard to say that anybody should be denied at least access into the church and access to the mechanisms that the church has to leading somebody out of the sinful life. And to just say that they're completely cut off, to me, cuts out. Completely cuts off the church as an organization at the knees.

And like I said, it puts them in a very difficult position to say that, yeah, we are going to let these in a lot of ways, Cretans into the church, but I don't know how you can deny them access. Oh, it's true, right? No, it is the truth, too, right? Like, it's very, I mean, that's the difficulty at Jesus's message in general, right?

Where, in a lot of ways, it kind of, I would say it goes against our human instincts, right? Where, you know, my human instinct is go, like, you're mafia, like, what are you talking about, man? Like, sincerely repent, and then you can [00:49:00] come in. You know, but that's not up for me to decide whether he's sincerely repented or not really.

I mean, Jesus is the only one that will see it in his heart. You know, maybe one day this, this, uh, ex mafioso or hopefully one day does become ex mafioso. Maybe the, the one Saturday comes in and. I said, you know, I told him to get out or what have you because of, uh, the previous times that he had failed to, uh, change his life around.

Maybe it was that one Saturday he was sincerely going to do it, but because I told him no, he never did it, you know, it's, it is difficult. I mean, you could say at the very least, like, don't take donations from these people. I mean, I don't think that's much to ask, right? You know where they're getting their money from.

It's not difficult to figure out, you know, drug money is pretty easy to spot. I think we, I think in this, we're never going to answer this question, and I think anybody who says that there is an easy answer to this [00:50:00] question, like, because I mean, again, hate mail alert, Pope Francis is kind of laying out that, oh, there's an easy answer to this.

I don't think that there is, and I think that, agree or disagree with me, that 2, 000 years of church history is on my side on this one, that there is no easy answer to situations like this of crime in the church. Uh, and I'll stand, I'll debate anybody on that, that there is no easy answer on it. And honestly, these are the questions that we are going to ask in the Organized Crime and Punishment History Podcast.

And I want to thank everybody for indulging us on sharing this little bit of the history of the papacy, the Catholic church, the 19th century church, the modern church, and organized crime. History. So thank you, Chris, for coming on today. And we will definitely be talking more about this on not only the history of the papacy, [00:51:00] but on organized crime and punishment.

You've been listening to Organized Crime and Punishment, a history and crime podcast. To learn more about what you heard today, find links to social media. And how to support the show, go to our website, a to z history page dot com. Become a friend of ours by sending us an email to crime at a to z history page dot com.

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เนื้อหาจัดทำโดย Steve and Organized Crime เนื้อหาพอดแคสต์ทั้งหมด รวมถึงตอน กราฟิก และคำอธิบายพอดแคสต์ได้รับการอัปโหลดและจัดเตรียมโดย Steve and Organized Crime หรือพันธมิตรแพลตฟอร์มพอดแคสต์โดยตรง หากคุณเชื่อว่ามีบุคคลอื่นใช้งานที่มีลิขสิทธิ์ของคุณโดยไม่ได้รับอนุญาต คุณสามารถปฏิบัติตามขั้นตอนที่อธิบายไว้ที่นี่ https://th.player.fm/legal

Title: Mafia and Church

Original Publication Date: 10/25/2023

Transcript URL: https://share.descript.com/view/BZyv8VrPajJ

Description: Today we have a special crossover episode between the History of the Papacy Podcast and Organized Crime and Punishment. Chris and Steve talk about how much religion, particularly the Catholic Church, has impacted the Mafia and how the Mafia has impacted the Catholic Church. This relationship goes far into the past and exists to this very day!

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Begin Transcript:

[00:00:00] Welcome to Organized Crime and Punishment, the best spot in town to hang out and talk about history and crime, with your hosts, Steve and Mustache Chris.

Thank you for joining me again today. I have a special program today featuring the brand new podcast I've launched with my co host, Mustache Chris. called Organized Crime and Punishment, a history and crime podcast. Organized Crime and Punishment takes the true crime genre and injects it with the heavy dose of the, uh, the much needed history podcast genre.

Mustache Chris and I will... Take you through [00:01:00] some of the most fascinating topics in organized crime throughout the history of the United States, and even beyond the United States. And a lot of it is actually gonna cross over with history of the Papa c and in coming episodes and seasons. Mustache. Why don't you introduce yourself to the history of the Papacy audience nicknames, uh, mustache.

Chris was the story behind that, but you'll have to listen to the new podcast too. Uh, Get why I have that nickname. I have a mustache, but there's a, there's a little more for it too. Yeah. I don't know if you ever listened to Steve's like beyond the big screen podcast. It became like quite frequent guest on there.

Um, you know, we're discussing movies and. You know, this, this new show that we're going to be doing, uh, came about because we were discussing mafia movies and we were both, uh, kind of history dorks and, um, you know, one thing led to another and the series just kept on getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

And we decided this, why don't we just do [00:02:00] a history of organized crime in general? You know, just we're going to do the mafia, but, you know, we're talking about doing, you know, all around the world. So we really, it was, we needed to get set free from being held back by. We had to tie something into a movie and we could really go where we wanted to go and follow the history.

Wherever it took us, and it's taking us in all sorts of interesting places, which really ties into today's episode. We're going to let you wet your beak a little bit on what Mustache Chris and I will offer in this new podcast series with an episode on the history of the Catholic Church and the Mafia.

We'll discuss a few of the people and events where the Mafia and the Church... Collided and crossed over. If you want to learn more and subscribe to organized crime and punishment, you can find it on Spotify, Apple podcasts, your podcatcher of choice, and on YouTube. And if you enjoy [00:03:00] what you hear, make sure you tell a friend about this podcast so that they can be friend of friends of ours.

So let me give you a little background, basically. The Roman Catholic Church has had a very strange relationship with various organized crime organizations in southern Italy since they formed in at least the 1800s and even earlier. The full history of the local organized crime outfits in Italy, such as La Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the Camorra, and the Campania region of Italy, and the Um, Ju.

Undrangheta of Calabria is really long and something we will get into more properly in the Organized Crime and Punishment podcast. As we've learned throughout this entire series on the popes of the 19th century, the popes hated secret societies that rose in the 19th century, like [00:04:00] the Carbonari, the Freemasons, and others.

And even though the La Cosa Nostra, the Camorra, the Uyghurs, and the Calabrians, the Calabrian Gondreta, where secrets, were secret societies and the popes and the church in general hated secret societies. These mafia societies were really quite different than the secular societies. You've read into those ones a bit, Chris.

What do you, what would you say about that? Oh, like the differences between the, like, three, uh, types of three major mafias the more secular, uh, secret societies. Yeah, like, La Cosa Nostra is pretty predominant. That's Sicily's, uh, mafia, really. Um, it's... You know, has a very, uh, hierarchical kind of structure to it.

Um, you know, non Sicilians, you have to be Italian, but non Sicilians could join in the, uh, La Cosa Nostra, right? Um, and it was [00:05:00] like the, the big area where it was based in, but it's on all of Sicily, but Palermo is like the big hotbed of La Cosa Nostra activity. Um, yeah. After the, I would say kind of after the second mafia war, which is not to go down too much of a rabbit hole, they kind of took a step down.

The Camorra, which is, uh, based in, uh, is, I'm sorry, the Camorra is actually probably the oldest out of the all three of the, uh, mafias. Um, it's, uh, I believe from what I've researched, it predates Locosa Nostra, it predates the, uh, the Adrangata. Um, yeah. Yeah, and it's very, it's different than the Locos Nostra in the sense that it's, uh, kind of loosely affiliated.

Like, there is an organizational structure, but it's more kind of like individual cells, like working somewhat together, but also like competing against one another. And the Andrangita, which is based in Calabria, um, is, uh, it's kind of like, it's You know, all [00:06:00] these are all, they're all mafia, so there's a lot of similarities between them, but the Adrangata is, uh, really, really, really, really secretive, and one of the things that kind of makes it unique that, at least from the information that we have available to us, where like, guys in like, they have like family, Say, in La Cosa Nostra, a lot of fathers who try to push to not have their kids join, where in the, with the, the Andrangita, it's the exact opposite, really, like you, they push for their entire families to join and keep it as, like, close knit family wise as possible.

I mean, in some ways it, it, it was kept it from being able to expand, say, like the, like, uh, Lacosa Nostra did, but in a lot of ways it's proven to be highly effective because, uh, as of right now, they're probably the most powerful out of all three of them. Now one big difference between the secular secret societies like the Carbon [00:07:00] and the Freemasons, they were Virulently Virulently, anti-Christian and anti Roman Catholic Church.

And at least on the surface, and I thinking, uh, you might say hourly, but even deeply, these. Were these organizations of the mafia were devoted to the Roman Catholic Church, its institutions and its practices and like many other cultures, the southern Italians were very invested in the folkways of the religion and see the episodes on the resortimento with Joe Pascone of the Turning Tides History podcast to learn more about that.

All of this leads into What is the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Mafia? You would think, well, maybe the Roman Catholic Church should be against the Mafia. Maybe they should be completely against the Mafia. That makes us want to, makes me want to talk about this [00:08:00] issue and lay down some groundwork of what is excommunication.

Excommunication traditionally doesn't mean someone who is permanently booted out of the church, as we might propose. popularly imagined. Anathematizing is the final booting out where someone isn't welcome back. And even then, if the person repents, there is usually some path to back, to get back in the church.

And I did, I've done many episodes on this topic throughout the podcast, including several episodes on the late antiquity and early middle ages controversy over Novationism and Donatism, which we can actually talk about in this episode as we go along. These issues get very confused in modern Christianity, especially in places like the United States and the Anglosphere because of the Puritans and the Reformation in early American history.

Their theology is not really. applicable to Catholic theology on [00:09:00] salvation, but that's a whole different issue. So, and really, excommunication means exactly what it says, being out of communion with the church. In other words, not being able to participate in the central sacrament of the church. Communion, no church leader is going to take that lightly, no matter how pious or corrupt they might be.

So let's keep this in mind and this whole idea of what the church ideal is, even when the institution is at its very best or fails completely. At that ideal, and I think that this will be a very informative conversation. Let's take a look at a few examples from Italy and the U. S. to see what the Roman Catholic Church had to say about these issues.

So the first one is the mafia and the church in Italy, and this is a huge topic, but I really, we decided to take a one small chunk of it. Now, southern Italy [00:10:00] is by far the most religious part of the country, and this was the case back during the post enlightenment period of the 18th and the 19th centuries, and it's very much the case all the way up till today.

In many places, the leader of the local mafia is also the local leader of the government. And also the biggest proponent of the church. Steve here again. We are a member of the Parthenon podcast network featuring great shows like Josh Cohen's eyewitness history and many other great shows go to Parthenon podcast to learn more.

And now here's a quick word from our sponsors.

Yeah, I think it's something that's kind of a little bit. Difficult for, um, American and Canadian audiences to understand, even just like Western Europeans, I think, in [00:11:00] general, like Southern Italy is, in a lot of ways, is not what we would consider like a well functioning society, you know, for most of its history, where, well, there's a lot of history to it, you know, like you, you've talked about it on your podcast, like places like Sicily and Southern Italy have had like, you You know, being conquered many, many times, many different rulers from different parts of the world.

Um, and, you know, it's like, just certain institute, like certain things that, like, just don't run properly, like, you know, like a court of law or like, if the groceries are going to be on the shelf to buy. You know, when the government is it's not even so much like the government doesn't want to have this type of powers.

There's a lot of the times they're just incapable of being able to exert this kind of control. And once they're not able to kind of exert that control, it's usually local mafias in the case of Sicily, but it's usually like a local gang or a local baron or you know, You know, like the local rich guy ends up taking up the, [00:12:00] uh, the duties of that would regularly be that would typically be, um, divvied out to say, like the state government or even the local, like a municipal government, or in some cases, the federal government, right?

Where most of these types of governments have, uh, Failed, you know, and even when they sometimes are, they are running properly, they're running corruptly. And there's a whole history to it too. And, uh, this region of Italy of just the distrust of the government, because of what, as I pointed out, a lot of its history was, you know, you had like French people were there, like French rulers were there, and then it was like Spanish rulers were there.

And. All different types of rulers, you know, even you want to go further back, you know, the Muslims were running this region for a while too, right? The Moors, um, so for most of Southern Italy's history, it's kind of been ingrained in the people that you really can't trust the local authorities because, I don't know, they're usually trying to rip you off [00:13:00] or they're corrupt or they're treating you like a conquered people.

And then this attitude persists to this day. I mean, it's gotten a little bit better when kind of, Just how, like, the seriousness of, like, just how, um, evil the mafia is, um, in Southern Italy. And if, you know, a couple brave judges and a couple of brave people have spoke out about, um, um, the evils of the La Cosa Nostra and the mafias in these regions, but it's still relatively Still kind of functions like this.

It really is. Like if you go to southern Italy, I haven't been personally, but everything that I've read, it's you, you're reading about this. And it's like, this doesn't sound like Europe. And in a lot of ways, it isn't, I think it's, yeah, I, I absolutely agree with that. The local local. Government of your brother or you're basically your tribesmen, they might be pretty evil, but at least they're putting food on your table.

They're evil, but they're a little less. [00:14:00] Evil than the way that the central government of say that was coming out of Rome or going back to the Naples or whatever they were, they were rotten evil, and they were just looking to basically steal everything from these people, at least the local. Bad guy was a little bit better and a little bit better at protecting your slight rights than what was coming from the centralized government and really the leader of a local government was usually connected very tightly to the church because they didn't have it.

Any of this idea of a separation of church and state, and in many instances, and in many places around the world, that distinction would be absurd, like, in our world view, that is the most enshrined thing, really, in our culture, is that religion in the state is, should [00:15:00] it be absolutely separated, but there's a lot of places around the world that they would think you were a lunatic for separating them.

But for most of human history, that's the case. And for the vast, like that, you know, for most of the world, it seems like a really crazy concept. I mean, I use like, kind of like a modern example, look at Afghanistan, you know, uh, the Taliban's back in power and when the Taliban derives their authority from, you know, religion, the religious institutions, but mainly, you know, being like a religious force for Islam and look at Iran.

You know, India is slightly different in the sense that it's a little bit more secular, but like, you really can't separate, like, Indian government and, uh, Hinduism. You just, the two were kind of insep like, you can't really separate the two of them. Uh, Japan up until, uh, I mean, literally, they worshiped the emperor as a god up until World War II for most of its history.

It [00:16:00] only stopped doing that. Well, I don't, I, I wouldn't say they even really stopped doing it. They just kind of directed it in a different, different way. But in Russia, as an example, um, yeah, like the, the, uh, the Orthodox Church was kind of, uh, marginalized and pushed to the side when the communists took over.

As soon as the Soviet Union fell, that separation of church and state just went away, like, for most of its history, like, uh, you know, it's hand in hand again, um, I mean, even England, like, even if you look at England, I mean, in theory, technically, the queen is the head of the, the state, uh, religion too, I mean, it practically has not ran like that, and, but, you Yeah, for most of human history, this, even I think it's kind of a crazy concept where, like, in the States and over here in Canada, we have this, like, strict separation of, like, the church and the state.

I think it's, I think it's kind of crazy why we're so adamant about that, but, I [00:17:00] mean, that's a, that's a discussion for another podcast. Now, the Sicilian La Cosa Nostra boss, they said that all men of honor consider themselves Catholic, and I think that really shows that, at least by their ideal, if you're a mafia member, you're also a Catholic, and that's going to seem kind of strange how those two things that are seemingly at odds with each other will Have to be mushed together.

It's kind of like two poles of a north and a south of the magnet getting pushed against each other. And they you would think they repel that in this case, they don't necessarily repel. Yeah, it's interesting, like, because even if you look at other different type of organized crime organizations around the world, like, I'll use Eastern Europe as an example, like using, uh.

Kind of religious iconography, like you'll see, uh, [00:18:00] them, you know, wearing rosaries and having, like, uh, uh, tattoos of, like, uh, religious, like, uh, religious saints and what have you on their body. Um, I just said, I was thinking that now because I just recently watched that movie, Eastern Promises, and that's all filled with.

Russian mafia and they all have these religious tattoos and it's not a meme. It's, it's an actual thing. Um, as the same thing with Southern, uh, with the mafias in Southern Italy and even in the cartels too, like a lot of these, a lot of these guys end up being high up in the cartels and running the cartels, they could.

They consider themselves religious too. It's, it's, uh, I, I don't know how they reconcile the two things. I don't, I don't think they, I mean, in their minds they must, right? But I don't see how they're able to do it. And that really went for the, the mafia organizations all across Italy. Bosses or their families or their associates would get pride of place in religious processions, which were, uh, which, Were and [00:19:00] are a very popular form of do devotion and they would get many other perks within the church.

And a lot of these mafia guys, like you were saying, are honestly truly religious too. They go to church all the time. They pray. They are maybe the more, the most pious people. And it is, it's a hard, uh, circle to square. If that's the right idiom, there's square to circle or whatever you're going to say, but you know what?

You get, get my drift. It's a hard thing to wrap your mind around. I, the only thing I can kind of think of is the way they, I guess, rationalize in their head. It's like, well, I'm actually not participating in any of this stuff. Like I might provide it, but I'm not forcing anyone to do this. And we live in a sinful fallen world and.

I, they're choosing to live a life of sin, whereas I'm choosing to live a pious life in some circumstance, like some of these guys just straight up, like, aren't pious at all too, [00:20:00] right? And they don't pretend to be otherwise, but some of them do truly feel like they are, um, like I'm living a pious life. I'm donating to the church.

I'm doing this and that, uh, helping out my local community in their odd sort of way. I guess you could rationalize it to yourself, or like, I'm not forcing anybody to do any of this stuff that I'm providing. They're choosing to do it, and like, my conscience is fine. I mean, I guess it kind of makes sense. I mean, if you're running like, say, McDonald's and be, as the CEO, should he feel really bad that he sells, like, Garbage food to the American public and the Canadian public that like causes diabetes and obesity.

And I would argue, yeah, you probably should. Do you know what I mean? But we don't really look at it that way. Um, I guess, I guess that would be the kind of round, you know, logic behind it. Does that make sense to you? And really, a number of political tides kept the Mafia and the Church as a strange coalition [00:21:00] even after the Risorgimento and the national formation of Italy throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

The rise of anti religious parties, uh, took control in the state, and these parties left, of the left usually, and even the fascists were aligned against the interests of southern Italy. Along with the papacy in the Catholic church, Pope's during the 20th century made at least lip service to distancing themselves from the mafiaa, but it was, it really was a challenging situation from them.

Pope Francis, the first who became Pope in 2013, has recently pushed back against the mafia in Italy saying that brothers and sisters cannot be both in the church and in the mafia. As with many of Francis pronouncements, much can be read into his statements and much will depend on what other bishops and prelates do in individual situations.

Francis has also [00:22:00] tried to take away some of the devotional practices used by the Mafia towards things like the Virgin Mary and the processions. Ties between various mafia factions like the Andrangheta and the Vatican Bank still exist to this very day, and they're really just getting exposed to this very day.

Yeah, the Andrangheta is like, probably, most people probably never even heard of the Andrangheta, to be honest with you, but, um, Yeah, like I pointed out earlier, like, they're based in the Colabrio region. There's actually a huge presence of the Andrangheta where I live right now, in southern Ontario. Um, a lot of the, uh, Mafia, at least the top Mafia in this area is, they're Durangata, um, and we're not quite sure exactly, just kind of a side note, we're not quite, we think that they're kind of running on their own, but there's still people theorize that they're taking orders directly from Calabria.

It's just a little interesting tidbit, little rabbit hole. I've been trying to go down and [00:23:00] trying to find out exactly how it runs. Um, yeah. Yeah, but, uh, the adrenaline has very, they have, like, a very strong ties to the, uh, to the cartels and, uh, South America. And then most of the drugs that ends up getting import, like, imported into Western Europe, it's usually.

The Adrengata will be buying the drugs, say, from the cartels, and then they ship them to Calabria, and then from Calabria, it goes into Western Europe. Um, virtually, from my under, from my reading, almost all of it come, uh, it can be traced right back down, traced right back to the Adrengata. Very interesting.

And we should also mention there has, uh, have been many priests and bishops who have stood up to the mafia in Italy and have really paid the price and violence for doing so. There's a particular priest named Father Pino Pugliese, who was killed in the 1990s. And there are plenty of stories of priests who supported the Mafia and were even [00:24:00] related to them.

Now we're going to move into a very interesting example of a Mafia family connection to the church. That's in a man named Joe Profaci and the Catholic Church. Can you give us a little background on Joe Profaci? Yeah, so Joe Profaci, he was the founder of the Profaci family. Most people probably know him as the Colombo family, which is what they later ended up becoming.

Um, kind of, he was, um, I think they, he took, um, A lot of inspiration from, uh, the godfather took a lot of inspiration from Joe Profaci because he ran like an olive oil, uh, importing business. Um, he was kind of like an old school, uh, mafioso. Um, one of his daughters married, I believe it was one of Joe Bonanno's, I think it was Joe Bonanno's son.

And that wedding, the FBI had like tons of pictures of it. And I think they used that as the [00:25:00] inspiration for the godfather. The big wedding at the beginning of that movie. Um, yeah. And he was kind of like a conservative, he was kind of like a conservative member of like a mafia wing within the commission.

Um, yeah. And he considered himself like very religious. Like he donated tons and tons and tons and tons of money to the, uh. To the church, you know, like to the point where people were pushing for him to get a, like a knighthood in the, the Knights of Columbus at Pro, like you were saying, pro Joe Profaci was a huge and very devout Catholic w with his massive wealth, a game from both the Mafiaa and his hugely successful legal, legal businesses.

He was a significant patron of the church, and he attended a particular church called St. Bernadette's Church in Brooklyn. He was members of the Knights of Columbus, the men's organization, which in a way [00:26:00] operates very similarly to one of the secret organizations like the Freemasons, but it is Catholic and he was a kind of a member of it.

That's a whole different story, but we're going to focus in on one particular story today. He even had a private altar in the basement of his home where he could have private masses served. Now, many of the Italian American Catholic leaders wanted a papal knighthood for Profaci, but there was actually a fair amount of pushback against that in various quarters, so it never really happened.

But there's a really Fascinating story about Joe Profaci and the stolen crown like that could be the title of it. Joe Profaci and the stolen crown. There was a really high expensive and highly ornamented crown that was made for the Brooklyn church that Joe attended. The crown had jewels that were worth over 100, 000 U.

  1. dollars Back in the 1950s where 100, [00:27:00] 000 meant something. Now there's people buy cars for 100, 000 and it's not that nice of a car. But, um, back then 100, 000 was a lot of money. Anyway, Joe This crown was stolen, and Joe made it his mission to find out who did it, and eventually the thief, a jewel thief named Ralph Amino, returned the crown, somewhat desecrated, with a few jewels missing.

Supposedly, Joe had a contract put out for this thief, and one way or another, Ralph Amino was found shot dead in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn. A local paper reported Amino was even refused Catholic burial service for his crime, even though he was never convicted or even arrested for it. And some...

Sources even say that he, maybe he wasn't shot, or he was shot later, but [00:28:00] that he was strangled to death with a rosary. Joe Profaci died of cancer in 1962, and he was given a full Catholic burial at St. Bernadette's and is buried in St. John's Cemetery, a Roman Catholic cemetery. Yeah, it's interesting because like some, you know, when we get into when you guys start listening to the, the other podcast, we'll get into some of these mob guys didn't, they were denied a Catholic funeral.

They were denied, uh, um, from the local pastor or what have you, or the church just straight up. So like, we're just not doing this. It's interesting that Joe got, I guess, because he would, I guess he was so devout and he donated so much to the church and maybe the extent of what He was up to, wasn't quite well known, you know.

Like, Joe Profaci was a drug dealer. He was an rocketeer. You name it, this guy was doing it. It's just, it's so bizarre to me that, like, people were pushing for him to get a [00:29:00] knighthood. I think Joe Profaci, in particular, he was so insulated with his legitimate businesses. I think it would be easy to just say, well, Hey, he's an olive oil merchant.

And I think, I think that that is the thing that probably insulated him more than other people. It would be hard to say that somebody who had never been. convicted or hardly even arrested of any crimes. I'm not, I can't recall offhand if he had been arrested many times, but it's hard to say that you can say we're not going to give you a Catholic burial to a guy who, at least on the surface, is completely legit.

Yeah, you know, other than, like, he was caught up in, like, some drug smuggling, like, charges, but the nothing ever were stuck, and, I mean, there was, if people wanted to kind of scratch a little bit underneath the surface, they could see, like, uh, where's Joe getting [00:30:00] all of his money, right? But... Like you said, like he did run a successful olive oil business, you know, um, from, by all accounts, he, Joe, wasn't like a, like, it wasn't like a psychopath.

So he wasn't say somebody like, uh, like gas pipe castle or anything like that. Right. But, um. Yeah, it's just interesting. Like some of these guys got Catholic funerals and others were denied it. We're going to talk now about a Catholic churchman and a cardinal in the church, a very high ranking person, Francis Spellman.

And the setting is the late 19th century. Forties, early 1950s, really the beginning of the cold war. And this tale matches up the Catholic church, the mafia, the CIA, the cold war, the FBI and communisms now communist parties were taking over all over Europe in the aftermath of world war two. And. If you know your history, the U.

  1. government wanted to stop that trend immediately in [00:31:00] Italy, especially at where the Communist parties were really growing rapidly. And the big thing that was needed was money. And who had tons of money and ways to move it around internationally and secretly, especially to Italy, I think you can make your guess on that the Catholic Church and the mafia money was funneled.

All over the U. S. into Europe for anti communist measures by the Catholic Church and the Mafia. Connections to drug trafficking in the Vatican Bank were all involved. And this is very much scratching the surface here with stuff that's just starting to come out now. So look for more connections between the Vatican Bank.

The Mafia and anti communist activities soon. This is not tinfoil hat stuff here. This is stuff that's coming out right [00:32:00] from CIA archives and Vatican archives. So let us know if this is a topic that you find interesting because I find it very interesting. Yeah, so do I myself, like, uh, just, you mentioned that book and I started reading it and started getting into it a little bit, and just like, just from researching the Mafia in general, like, there's always been this kind of theory, at least in Italy, that.

Like Benito Mussolini had like smashed the, uh, the mafia in a lot of ways. He actually, he did do this. Like he did smash the mafia in Southern Italy is one of the few leaders that was able to do it. He didn't smash it completely, but he definitely weakened it. And there's always been kind of a conspiracy theory, at least on the left in Italy, that like the Americans allowed the mafia to come back into place.

Like to come back into Southern Italy because they were afraid that the, the communists would fill the gap and it was actually the American government that propped up the, uh, the mafia back in Southern [00:33:00] Italy, uh, as like a stop gap against, uh, um, the communists from taking over. I mean, in a lot of ways that there's people that theorize it, but even with the labor movement and in the United States where the American government came to the conclusion, it's like, well.

We could stop these mafia organized crime types from getting into these unions. But if we stop them from getting into these unions, then the communists are going to get into the union. So they kind of, they pick the, they pick the mafia over the communists. No, I'm not saying that's, uh, it's just the theory that has gone out there.

Um, that this is kind of maybe what happened in, uh, both of these regions. You know, I, I can't say with 100 percent certainty, but, uh, just from my personal research, it definitely makes a lot of sense. I mean, if you're going to have to choose, if you're going to choose between communists and the mafia, the mafia, you can kind of somewhat understand, it's like, oh, they just want to make money where, like, the communists want [00:34:00] to do, like, You know, we're not talking like communists that you talk to on the internet, like at this time they were like legitimate communists, like they wanted to overthrow the government, so if you have to choose between the two, the mafia doesn't want to, they just want to be left alone, you know, they're not trying to overthrow the government.

Steve here again with a quick word from our sponsors. Our last tale is going to be more recently, it's really something that's, a story that just wrapped up itself within the last year or so of the early part of the 2020s, and that is And this tale takes place in the United States in the Italian American phenomena that developed in the United States and that's really largely the focus of this first series of the organized crime and punishment podcast and we're going to talk about Father [00:35:00] Louis Gigante, a Catholic priest who was the brother of not one but Two notorious mafia figures, boss of the Genovese family and lifelong play actor at being mentally ill, Vincent the Chin Gigante and Genovese family capo Mario Gigante.

This guy, Father Louis Gigante lived a crazy life. Chris, can you give us just a little background on his famous mafia brother, Vincent the Chin Gigante? Yeah, I've been, yeah, and I, it's incredible that there hasn't been a movie made about this guy, but yeah, Chinchiganti was, uh, probably one of the most powerful mob bosses in the United States ever.

Um, he was the leader of the Genovese family. Um, he's most famous, the Genovese family had this unique structure where they have like, they would have like a front boss. And in this case, it was Tony Salerno. He was like the front boss. So this was the boss that, You know, the cops would be looking at and thinking [00:36:00] was the boss of the family.

And then there was the actual boss behind the scenes. And this was, uh, Vincent, the chin gigantic, but like, you think, oh, that's enough secrecy, right? No, like Vincent, the chin gigantic took it up a notch where he decided that he was going to spend the vast majority of his life acting crazy. Um, so people wouldn't think he was a mafia boss.

So we're talking about stuff, you know, walking around, like exposing himself in a bathrobe and. On the streets and, you know, peeing in corners and mumbling to himself and going to like weekly psychiatric meetings where he would get like referrals saying like, yep, he crazy. And if the cops showed up to the house, there's one famous story of him.

Showering with his suit on, shaving. You know, like, it's just like a really crazy story, man. Um, yeah, and like I said, it's incredible that there hasn't been a movie made about this guy. I just even think they would make a movie about him. Um... Yeah, and, uh, this, this [00:37:00] act worked for a really long time, like, pretty much right up until he finally admitted that he wasn't crazy, but, you know, for years and years and years and years, he kept it up, he would show up to court, you know, in a bathrobe and muttering to himself, and, you know, even the, even the mob guys who kind of knew that it was kind of an act, like, some of them would say, like, you know, they'd talk after, they're talking afterwards, and like, we weren't entirely sure at the time whether how much of it was an act and how much, You know, wasn't an act because he even had like the mob guys convinced.

That's how convincing he was for many priests. I mean, honestly, being a priest is a full time job, and it's a lonely one at that, being that most of them are celibate. Being that most of them are celibates, but not for Louis Giganti, Louis lived with his common wall, common law wife in the, in a pretty solid middle class New York suburb, New York city suburb, [00:38:00] and he even had a son they lived like.

Typical, classical, suburban family, except as, uh, Louis son said, Dad went to work on Sunday mornings. And most priests, even if they don't exactly take a vow of poverty, they don't get rich on the job. Again, not so for Lewis. When Lewis died, he left in a state of over seven million dollars. And he made that money through various positions he held in both non profit and for profit, building and building maintenance ventures in the South Bronx area of New York City.

We don't know exactly for sure if Lewis was connected to the mafia, an informant claimed he was, but, uh, never testified to that fact. But the types of businesses that Lewis made as fortune and certainly smell of the [00:39:00] mafia, and they were certainly very They lived in, they lived in the very same areas that the mafia would dominate, like building, construction, building maintenance.

Lewis defended his brother up and down and never apologized for being married, essentially being married, having a son. Honestly, he was proud of it. He was proud of it that he was rich. He was proud of it that his brother was chin gigante. I'm in the sky. I'm honestly shocked I've never heard of him before, until I started poking around.

This is another guy who should have a movie after him. Yeah, maybe the two of them together type, like, you know, do a movie about both of them, do like a part one, a part two, or something, um. Yeah, I mean, Lewis wouldn't, wouldn't not just like Lewis would for years and years and years like defend his brother, you know, like, you know, this guy's not mafioso.

He's not involved in drug trap. He's not [00:40:00] involved in any of this stuff. Like, what are you guys talking about? Um, very like vocal support of his brother. Um, you know, he gets it is really wild story. Like, like, how was he not kicked out of the church? Like, well, he not kicked out of the church, but how was he not kicked out of the priesthood after he had like, He clearly was not living an excellent life and he had a son, like, I don't, you're more familiar with that.

That really comes down to, and that gets us into a, a wrapping up of the episode of today is that it's very difficult for the church to enforce the rules. Exactly. And strictly because as much as you might have the Pope lay down a certain set of rules and canons in Rome, and that's kind of what the Catholic Church sells it as is that we have a Pope.

We have a central authority that makes centralized decisions, but it's really how it's enforced on the [00:41:00] ground. And the Pope doesn't necessarily have a many mechanisms to leapfrog over the local bishop who would be the one who would have to put that priest into trouble. And I mean, honestly, it's such a big organization.

It would be very difficult for a Pope to know. And then get involved. And I think that's how a lot of the problems that the Catholic Church had throughout the 20th century and into the 60s, the 70s, and even into the modern age is that as much as it is hierarchical, there's a lot of places for people to hide in that big of an organization.

And that really comes into how we can see a lot of connections between the papacy, the Catholic Church, and the mafia. And what... Should, you brought up the question, what should the Catholic Church have done with the Mafia during the Golden Age of the Mafia, and what should they do [00:42:00] now with the Mafia in Italy and the United States?

What do you, uh, what do you think about that? Well, I mean, during the Golden Age, it's, they were pretty silent, uh, about, about it all. I mean, in their defense, like, the FBI, like, J. Edgar Hoover pretty much denied the existence of the Mafia until almost, like, the 1960s. Uh, it was the Appalachian Meeting was basically when he's like, okay, I guess we can't deny it anymore.

Um, um, even though he knew that he was denying it and maybe at one point, like, early on, he didn't think it was the thing, but It shouldn't have taken that meeting for him to come out and recognize that, like, yes, the locosanostra is a real thing, and it is in the United States, and it's a very bad problem in New York.

Um, the church should have, uh, in my opinion, just vehemently denounced it. Don't, you know, don't accept donations from people like Joe Profaci. Um... You know, like, lead a campaign or something that says, like, you can't serve [00:43:00] two masters. It's right there in the Bible. Like, you can't be mafia and you can't be part of the church.

It's either you're part of the church or you're part of mafia. They're two... They can't... You can't be a mafioso and... Claim to be a Christian. You just, you just can't. You can rationalize it in your head all you want, but you really can't, you know, to become a made guy, you know, we didn't get into this, but like to become a made guy, you have to make your bones, right?

Which means you have to kill another person. You know, that's usually once you make your bones, uh, that's, you know, you're for that's okay. Yeah, you're good. You can get made. You can actually officially become a made guy and be, uh, yeah. You know, part of the inner sanctum of the mafia. I'm like, I don't know that.

I think there's a thing or two in the that tells you not to do that. I could be wrong. I think that this we can put our theologians hats on. Uh, we're armchair historians were armchair philosophers. We might as well be armchair theologians. I [00:44:00] think the organized crime and crime in general puts a religious organization like The like a Christian church in a really tough position because theologically speaking, and you look at the scope of the history of the church, the church is the hospital of sinners and just skim your gospels for a minute or two, and you'll see Jesus points.

weren't about the pious. I mean, in a lot of ways, Jesus was making points against the pious. He was talking to the sinners. I mean, casting the first stone, the woman in the well, the publican and the Pharisee, the thief on the cross, Zacchaeus, you name it. These are the people that Jesus was talking to in, in the gospels.

And Western Christianity has taken that theology, added to it, taken some away. But to me, it's, um, It's undeniable that Christianity's focus isn't on the righteous, it's on the sinner. And how [00:45:00] can they say, well, you're, you're somebody who's a sinner, but you're completely out. I think that that would, it would honestly cripple the, the, the organization of the church, theologically speaking, because then at what point.

It's a, you know, the old cliche of the slippery slope. When do you say that somebody is actually pure enough to be in the church? My argument would be like, like Jesus had pointed out, like you can't serve two masters. If somebody who say was a mafioso sincerely comes to the church and repents and says, you know, like, I'm not going to, I'll just, I don't know, I'll use John Gotti as an example, right?

Say, let's just say, in theory, John God, he says, you know what? I'm out. I'm not mafia. I'm not a mafia boss anymore. I denounced my former, uh, Locoza Nostra life and he comes to the church and he repents and, you know, does the sacraments and in. Uh, you know, his [00:46:00] community service and yada, yada, yada, like, you know, does all the things or so that he's a repentant, uh, Christian, you know, reads his Bible studies, his theology, um, then yeah, for sure, you know, the vast majority of people.

They're not going to change that fundamentally. They really aren't. Um, and it's sad, to be honest with you, but like, you know, Jesus had a line I'm trying to remember right now, like, getting into heaven, uh, is, uh, I think it was like, what was it? A rich man getting into heaven is about as easy as a camel going through the eye of a needle.

You know, he says it's hard. You know, and the most people aren't going to do it. Uh, so yeah, in theory, like if, say, John Gotti decided and say he, he, he did all the things I had just listed, then yeah, but you can't go to the church and be like, oh, I'm sorry for, you know, murdering this person on Sunday and then go two weeks later and go like, well, [00:47:00] sorry, I had to do it again.

But, you know, it's just not how it works. But I, I don't see how they can close the doors on those people because that's fundamentally against the religion. I mean, bring up the, I mean, we can look at historical examples, but if you even bring it back to the Gospels, the thief on the cross, he's on his deathbed and he, he, uh, acknowledges the religion.

And Jesus says that I'll see you in, I can't remember the exact quote, but basically I'll see you in heaven this evening. Theoretically, at least the church is supposed to be, the doors are supposed to be open to the people until the bitter end. And like I said, and I'll, I'll get a lot of hate mail on this when I think, but crack your Bible open, look at the early church writers.

really mostly anything up until the [00:48:00] Reformation. And it's hard to say that anybody should be denied at least access into the church and access to the mechanisms that the church has to leading somebody out of the sinful life. And to just say that they're completely cut off, to me, cuts out. Completely cuts off the church as an organization at the knees.

And like I said, it puts them in a very difficult position to say that, yeah, we are going to let these in a lot of ways, Cretans into the church, but I don't know how you can deny them access. Oh, it's true, right? No, it is the truth, too, right? Like, it's very, I mean, that's the difficulty at Jesus's message in general, right?

Where, in a lot of ways, it kind of, I would say it goes against our human instincts, right? Where, you know, my human instinct is go, like, you're mafia, like, what are you talking about, man? Like, sincerely repent, and then you can [00:49:00] come in. You know, but that's not up for me to decide whether he's sincerely repented or not really.

I mean, Jesus is the only one that will see it in his heart. You know, maybe one day this, this, uh, ex mafioso or hopefully one day does become ex mafioso. Maybe the, the one Saturday comes in and. I said, you know, I told him to get out or what have you because of, uh, the previous times that he had failed to, uh, change his life around.

Maybe it was that one Saturday he was sincerely going to do it, but because I told him no, he never did it, you know, it's, it is difficult. I mean, you could say at the very least, like, don't take donations from these people. I mean, I don't think that's much to ask, right? You know where they're getting their money from.

It's not difficult to figure out, you know, drug money is pretty easy to spot. I think we, I think in this, we're never going to answer this question, and I think anybody who says that there is an easy answer to this [00:50:00] question, like, because I mean, again, hate mail alert, Pope Francis is kind of laying out that, oh, there's an easy answer to this.

I don't think that there is, and I think that, agree or disagree with me, that 2, 000 years of church history is on my side on this one, that there is no easy answer to situations like this of crime in the church. Uh, and I'll stand, I'll debate anybody on that, that there is no easy answer on it. And honestly, these are the questions that we are going to ask in the Organized Crime and Punishment History Podcast.

And I want to thank everybody for indulging us on sharing this little bit of the history of the papacy, the Catholic church, the 19th century church, the modern church, and organized crime. History. So thank you, Chris, for coming on today. And we will definitely be talking more about this on not only the history of the papacy, [00:51:00] but on organized crime and punishment.

You've been listening to Organized Crime and Punishment, a history and crime podcast. To learn more about what you heard today, find links to social media. And how to support the show, go to our website, a to z history page dot com. Become a friend of ours by sending us an email to crime at a to z history page dot com.

All of this and more can be found in the show notes. We'll see yous next time on Organized Crime and Punishment. Forget about it.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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