You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

World

  

Church parade past Mafia home a challenge to pope

ROME (AP) — In apparent defiance of Pope Francis, a church procession detoured from its route through a southern Italian town to honor a convicted mobster under house arrest.

Interior Minister Angelino ALfano on Sunday denounced the tribute in Oppido Mamertina, a Calabrian town and ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate stronghold, as ‘‘deplorable and disgusting.’’ He praised three Carabinieri policemen who abandoned the procession in disapproval.

Continue reading below

On June 21, Francis, visiting Calabria, had denounced the ‘ndrangheta for its ‘‘adoration of evil’’ and said its members were excommunicated. The July 2 procession included clergy, the mayor, families and dozens of men carrying a Madonna statue on their shoulders.

Calabria’s anti-Mafia prosecutor, Nicola Gratteri, told The Associated Press that the detour to the mobster’s house appeared to be a ‘‘challenge to the diktat’’ of Francis.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week