Pope Francis urged members of Italian organized groups today (February 21, 2015) to repent, saying the Catholic Church would welcome them if they promised to stop serving the cause of evil, the Times of India website reports.
He spoke during an audience at the Vatican for pilgrims and anti-crime activists from the southern region of Calabria, home to the 'Ndrangheta, mainland Italy's equivalent of the Sicilian Mafia.
"Open your hearts to the Lord. The Lord is waiting for you and the Church will welcome you if your willingness to serve good is as clear and public as your choice to serve evil was," the pope said.
When he visited Calabria last June, Pope Francis accused organized crime groups of practicing "the adoration of evil" and said members had excommunicated themselves from the Catholic Church by their actions.