Pope Francis Dines in the Vatican Cafeteria, Denounces the Mafia in Naples

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Pope Francis dropped in on lunch at the Vatican cafeteria on Friday "like a thunderbolt out of the blue," according the restaurant's chef. As the Mirror reported, the pope went through the line himself, ordered cod for the Friday fish, ate and chatted with a table of Vatican workers, and then bussed his own tray.

After finishing his meal, the Pope blessed those gathered and praised the quality of the food."

The impromptu "First Supper" came just hours after speculation began about a possible American tour by the pontiff come 2015. The rumors have yet to be confirmed.

On Saturday, Pope Francis went on the road to Caserta, described by the AP as "main town in the turf of the Casalesi crime clan of the Naples-area Camorra syndicate." According to the report, the pope had come to speak out against the mob in the wake of the syndicate's illegal poisoning of farmland, which was said to have been done using trafficked waste. 

During his homily outside the 18th-century Reggia palace, Caserta's main tourist attraction, Francis drew applause when he urged his flock to have "the courage to say no to every form of corruption and lawlessness."

As we noted earlier, Pope Francis has taken an exceptionally aggressive posture against the mafia in Italy. Last month, Francis turned a number of heads when he decided to excommunicate the Calabrese mafia. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.