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Godfather whack! Sicilian church leaders ban godparents at baptisms

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Catholic Church leaders ban baptismal godparents in a single Italian diocese amid concern the function is extra unsavory than sacred — and might be exploited by the Mafia.

Religious leaders in Catania issued a three-year ban on naming godparents at baptisms this month, claiming many households enlist native energy brokers to be their youngsters’s compari as a result of they’re extra excited about securing gold necklaces and networking alternatives for his or her household than religious management, according to the New York Times.

Bishops and monks within the Sicilian area additionally shared considerations that the now primarily secular customized can embolden organized crime figures, as Archbishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini reportedly argued in a letter to Pope Francis in 2014.

“It’s an experiment,” Msgr. Salvatore Genchi, the vicar common of Catania, reportedly mentioned of the ban.

Although Genchi is the godfather to at least 15 godchildren, he argued that a lot of the diocese’s godparents weren’t minimize out for juggling so many duties, in accordance with the article.

Archbishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini (left)
Archbishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini (left) argued in a letter to Pope Francis in 2014 that the secular customized of a godparent at baptisms can embolden organized crime figures.
AFP through Getty Images

The Rev. Angelo Alfio Mangano, of the Saint Maria in Ognina church in Catania, instructed the Times he authorised of the brand new ban as a result of he not needed to take care of “threats against the parish priest” from questionable characters who typically used the place for social blackmail and usury.

Former Sicilian president Salvatore Cuffaro, a godfather of “just about 20” youngsters, who as soon as served 5 years in jail for tipping off a mafia don to authorities surveillance, instructed the Times he handled the sacrament with reverence.

“Despite what some priests think, I paid attention to all of my baptismal godchildren,” Cuffaro reportedly mentioned, including he solely accepted about one in 20 requests to face on behalf of youngsters at baptisms.

Cuffaro, who’s nicknamed “Kiss Kiss” for his intimate greetings, mentioned that no members of the Mafia ever served as a non secular godfather on Italy’s “boot,” in accordance with the article.

“At least in Sicily, where I have lived, this doesn’t exist,” he reportedly mentioned. “It’s only a religious bond; there are no bonds of illegality.”

Catholic Church
Msgr. Salvatore Genchi, the vicar common of Catania, argued that a lot of the diocese’s godparents didn’t meet requirements for dealing with so many duties.
Getty Images

The ban has reportedly put a damper on energetic and opulent christening celebrations within the Sicilian area.

“It’s shocking,” Jalissa Testa, 21, reportedly mentioned at her son’s Catania baptism on the primary Sunday of the godparent embargo.

“In our hearts we know, and they will know, that he has a godfather.”

In close by Aci Trezza, the place Catania residents are sneaking off to have baptisms, Rev. Giovanni Mammino’s diocese requires godfathers to swear they have been believers and never organized crime figures, the article mentioned.

“They keep coming here so that they can have the godfathers,” Mammino reportedly mentioned.

Catholic Church
The ban is aimed to place a damper on energetic and splendid celebrations within the Sicilian area.
Getty Images

Nicola Sparti, 24, drove to Aci Trezza to take photographs together with his newly christened son in entrance of sea rocks that the Cyclops is claimed to have thrown at Odysseus, the report mentioned.

As toddler Antonio rode in a tiny remote-controlled white Mercedes, Sparti reportedly shrugged off the brand new rule.

“One day the godfather’s there and the next he’s gone. But a father is forever.”

Antonio’s uncle Alfio Motta, 22, reportedly had a distinct take.

“I feel like the godfather,” Motta instructed the paper. “Even if I don’t have the title.”

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