The Pope travelled deep into mafia territory on Saturday, using a visit to Naples to warn residents of the dangers of corrupt officials and organised crime. In keeping with his reputation as a champion of the downtrodden and forgotten, Pope Francis addressed tens of thousands of people in the crime-ridden neighbourhood of Scampia. “Corruption stinks, corrupt society stinks,” he told residents, adding that “we all have the potential to be corrupt and to slip into criminality”. Up to 800,000 people were expected to turn out throughout the day in the southern Italian city to greet the Argentine pontiff, who last year declared war on organised crime by “excommunicating” all mafiosi from the Catholic Church. Security was tight for the visit: apart from risks posed by gangsters with a grudge, the pope has been threatened by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant #Isil# and trips outside the Vatican are considered prime opportunities for assassination attempts.

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