Cardinal Salvatore Pappalardo, a former archbishop of Palermo Sicily who publicly campaigned against the Mafia criminal society for a generation, died Dec. 10 at the age of 88, according to web sources.
Cardinal Pappalardo in the early 1980s challenged the Italian government to take on the Mafia, and over the years he encouraged his fellow priests to do so as well.
In April, when reputed Mafia leader Bernardo Provenzano was captured outside Corleone after four decades in hiding, Pappalardo noted that the event was both a positive and a negative sign. That Provenzano would finally face justice provided hope for the future, he said, but his ability to remain at large for so long was evidence that many remained willing to protect him.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told Italy's ANSA news agency, "[Pappalardo's] efforts against the Mafia, made amid risks and hostility..., were of deep value to the church and to all civil society."
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- Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.