Would Philadelphia Care If The Next Pope Had Mafia Ties?

Since I’m one of four people in the world who actually kind of liked The Godfather Part III—what with its byzantine plot regarding popes, cardinals, the Vatican Bank, and gangsters—you can only imagine how giddy I am about this headline: “The Favorite to Become the Next Pope Might Have Mafia Ties.” What in the name of Sofia Coppola is going on here?

The short version: Cardinal Angelo Scola is apparently great buddies with Roberto Formigoni, who is under investigation by Italian anti-mafia detectives unraveling health care corruption there. And both men are members of the Communion and Liberation fellowship.

“The movement, abbreviated CL, encourages its members to spread the Gospel and traditional church teachings in areas where Europe’s secular leaders often consider it unwelcome: the workplace and the halls of government and education,” explained The Wall Street Journal‘s Stacy Meichtry and Alessandra Galloni. They add: “CL helped put Silvio Berlusconi on Italy’s political map two decades ago by drawing a crucial swath of Catholic supporters to his side, particularly in wealthy northern regions such as Lombardy.”

Well, and it’s not like Silvio Berlusconi isn’t also knee deep in problems, too. Seriously: Somebody give Al Pacino a call! Sure it’s been 23 years since the last movie—but just when you thought you were out, they pull you back IN!

The real question locally, is: Would papal mafia ties earn a “Philly shrug” or not?