Archbishop in mob stronghold of Reggio Calabria seeks papal OK for moratorium on godfathers

Associated Press + More

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A southern Italian archbishop has proposed a 10-year moratorium on the naming of godfathers in a bid to stem the way mob bosses uses the "padrino" system to spread their influence and authority to the next generation.

Monsigor Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini, archbishop of Reggio Calabria, spoke with Pope Francis about the proposal last weekend. In a statement Monday, he said the pontiff asked the bishops of Calabria to discuss the idea and send him a written proposal.

Godparents are named when a baby is baptized and promise to help raise the child in the Catholic faith. Fiorini Morosini has argued that, in Calabria at least, godparents are less theological role models than mob friends.

Calabria is home to the 'ndrangheta organized crime syndicate, considered the most powerful mob in Italy.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.