Pope Francis celebrates a holy mass in Palermo, Italy, September 15, 2018. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS.
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Pope Francis appealed to Sicily's Mafia Saturday to abandon a life of crime and violence, saying the island needed "men and women of love, not men and women 'of honor,'" using the term mobsters apply to themselves.Puglisi was killed on his 56th birthday during a bloody Mafia offensive against the state and anyone else who threatened the group's existence.Cardinal Ernesto Ruffini, who was archbishop of Palermo from 1945-1967, denied the Mafia's existence, considering communism the Church's biggest threat.With little support by the Church hierarchy in Sicily, he preached against the Mafia from the pulpit of his church in the rough Brancaccio neighborhood, then controlled by the Graviano family.
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