Sicily Archbishop bans Mafia from being Godfather

An Archbishop in Sicily has moved to reclaim the term ‘godfather’ from the Mafia - by banning gangsters from taking the role at baptisms.

Michele Pennisi, a vocal mafia critic, has his diocese in Monreale, near Palermo.

He said he wanted to challenge the idea that crime bosses have a paternal side.

“The mafia has always taken the term godfather from the Church to give its bosses an air of religious respectability,” he told AFP.

“Whereas in fact, the two worlds are completely incompatible.”

Archbishop Pennisi’s diocese includes the notorious village of Corleone, a vendetta-torn enclave made famous by Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather.

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