by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
I am a Catholic, a Roman Catholic. And that means I hold fast to all Divine, Sacred and immemorial tradition. I love the ancient and perennial rites of the Church, and I do not believe that the Novus Ordo is either of God or within the powers of even the Pope to promulgate. I think rather that what has come from Tradition must be kept, not jettisoned, and it cannot be recast according to modernistic principles. I also believe that one day, we shall have a Pope who complete nixes the Novus Ordo and Vatican II.
I say this as a preface, so that no one misunderstands what I am about to say: namely, that the Sicilian Mafia has a lot in common with the Traditionalist Movement in practice, not in theory.
That is to say, in they way they approach religion, not in the things they believe.
My expertise to make this comparison is that I have attended the Ancient Mass, both at independent chapels and with the Fraternity of Saint Peter and the Society of Saint Pius X. I lived four months with the Capuchins of Morgon, France, and have attended a priests only conference with Mons. Fellay at Albano. I am not an expert on the Traditionalist Movement, but I have seen enough as an anthropologist over about 10 years of personal experience.
I have also lived in Sicily for 3 years and have met several members of the Sicilian Mafia and talked to them about their beliefs. I am also half Sicilian by blood, and thus have many relatives who have told me about them.
So to explain, let me list the things which they share and explain why they are similar or identical.
The Sicilian Mafia traces its origin to elements of organized criminality in the Spanish Empire. Spain once ruled Sicily. These traditions of secret societies and criminality were inherited by the Spanish Kingdom through its reconquest of Muslim Spain. They are Moorish in origin.
But for the Sicilian Mafia these traditions are important. There are generations and lineages of Mafia. These are so well known, that in Italy everyone is required to get a Mafia background check if they are to head a public corporation. Such a check looks at all relatives down to 4 degrees of affinity, if I understand it correctly.
Love for the Ancient Mass
Consequently the Sicilian Mafia and the Traditionalist Movement agree that the Ancient Mass is the true mass.
I was surprised to learn this. But I learned it from a Mafioso in person.
You see, when I lived at Noto as a hermit, I used to hitchhike the 120 KM each Sunday Morning, to attend the Latin Mass at the Church of Saint Anthony, in Acireale. And as of necessity, I accepted every ride which was offered me, as I stood with my thumb out asking for a ride.
One morning, I got a ride on the Autostrada near Siracusa from a Mafioso. He wore a black suit and white shirt and a black tie and pants. He was heading to Catania for an important meeting, but when in conversation I divulged that I was heading to the Old Latin Mass, he told me it was the true Mass, and that he would delay his meeting to drop me off directly in front of the Church. The detour cost him at least 90 minutes of a delay.
I was very impressed by his piety and that led me to do some research. Indeed, in all my years of living in Sicily, I never met a Traditionalist who was so obliging to me in my necessity to get to the Traditional Latin Mass on Sunday.
It was even more impressive, because the meeting he was going to was a mob meeting.
The Sicilian Mafia puts great important in maintaining the public reputation for decency and respectability. And one thing they do is patronize the Church. Some of their sons even become priests.
They love the ancient rituals and pomp of the Old Mass. They consider it an aestetic travesty that Paul VI introduced the New Mass. They detest banality. You cannot promote yourself on the basis of a public image associated with banality.
But the Sicilian Mafia do not see their religious practices in public as anything which binds them to stop their criminal activity. They see the laws of the Italian Republic as optional, and consider whats they do to be legitimate. Its a state of necessity, they would say.
So they keep the laws they need to keep but do not observe the laws they need to not observe. They mostly keep to themselves and are involved in importing products to Italy so as to evade customs laws and tariffs. The are libertarians of a sort.
The Traditionalist Movement is also very anomian. They do not care to violate scores and scores of canons of Church Law when they decide to set up shop in a local diocese. They consider that a state of necessity gives them license to do most anything, even annul marriages. — I am obviously speaking of those groups which do not have faculties.
The Sicilian Mafia are also a very tight knit group. You cannot knock on their door and join. Its more by invitation. They check you out. They have rituals of initiation. They have core beliefs that you have to accept to be a member.
They keep to themselves. You cannot just ask them for an interview. And if you want to know which families are Mafia in the local area, it is difficult to find out, because no one wants to mention their name.
But if you want to start a business where they claim control, then you need their approval. If you try to do it without their approval you will be burned out, but only after several friendly visits. You have to show omertà and pay the pizzo they ask. Omertà is respect. And a pizzo is a monthly payment to insure you wont suffer the misfortunes which they say happen to those who are not insured.
A lot of traditionalists are also very sectarian. If you show up at their Mass they wont even talk to you, or they will ask you questions like an Inquisitor to find out who you are. And you cannot do anything without their permission, like follow the Lord as a religious.
In their places of worship they do not advertise or promote anything but themselves and they expect as the price of attending their Masses that you commit to their organization 100%. If not, you are not to be trusted. Also, they do not exist to serve you as men of God, you exist to serve them.
A Society of the Club
In addition, both the Sicilian Mafia and most Trad groups exhibit characteristics of the Club. They are all male societies and its invitation only. No amount of merit gets you in. And no amount of demerit gets you kicked out.
Also, you are expect to serve the club. It is a no-no to talk to the police, whether about crimes committed by the Club, or boys raped by members. Though I do admit that as faar as I know the Sicilian Mafia on the score of pedophilia are much more intollerant. They do in those of their own who rape boys, because they have strong family values of loyalty. Wherase in all the Trad groups of which I have read reports, they all act just like the Lavender Mafia, and require that members not report to the police, or else you are out of there.
I could cite some concrete cases, but my sources would be persecuted.
A Private Agenda
Finally, the Sicilian Mafia and nearly all Trad groups I know of, do nto exist for the good of Society, but for the good of themselves. They are not about promoting virtue, they are about making their own members have more power, influence and reputation and respectibility. When the State of the Church crumble, is not their concern. Not in the least. And you will never see them take any risk to help the State or the Church.
Therefore, as an anthropologist I would conclude that both the Sicilian Mafia and the Traditionalist Movement have a lot in common. They are both counter-cultural, sectarian, traditionalist, anomian, self-serving, closed club like societies. They both do not care about Canon Law in the least and they both recognize without question that Bergoglio is the pope. In fact, in 2010, another Mafioso told me, that they controlled the Vatican and it would soon become clear that they control it. He told me more truth than I ever read at LifeSite News or in the reports of Edward Pentin.
For public disclosure: none of my relatives are Mafia
and all of them either fear it or speak against it.
CREDITS: The Featured Image is a screen shot of Google Image Search results for the movie, The GodFather: a romantic vision of the Sicilian Mafia in New York City, which depicted many aspects of the Mafia which I mention in this article. Which image is used here in accord with fair use standards for editorial commentary and to show how effective Google Image search can be.
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