Pope Francis Takes on the Mob

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(ROME) -- Speaking from his balcony in St. Peter’s Square Sunday, Pope Francis spoke out against the Mafia.

The pope’s harsh words against the mob came the day after a Sicilian anti-Mafia activist priest was beatified by the Catholic Church, a final step before sainthood.

Reverend Giuseppe Puglisi was known for helping young people resist joining the Scicilian mob, the Cosa Nostra. He was murdered by the mafia in Sicily in 1993.

"I think of the great pain suffered by men, women and even children, exploited by so many mafias, who make them slaves, through prostitution, through many social pressures," said Pope Francis, according to BBC News.

"They cannot do this,” the pope said. “They cannot make our brothers slaves."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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