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Mafia planning to kill Pope Francis: report

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The Mafia are considering a lethal strike on Pope Francis, a senior prosecutor in Italy's crime-torn deep South has warned.

The pontiff's life is in danger because his desire to sweep away corruption in 'a total clean-up' is making organised criminal groups 'nervous', the deputy chief prosecutor of Reggio Calabria, Nicola Gratteri, claimed.

Since Francis took office in April, he has made it clear that he intends to rid the Holy See of its corrupt ways and clean up the notorious Vatican bank, long used by money launderers.

He immediately dispatched the chairman of the IOR bank Gotti Tedeschi and subsequently forced his own number two Cardinal Bertone, who had been accused of corruption, into retirement.

In one of his first sermons as Pope he took aim at the mafia calling on them to repent for 'exploiting and enslaving people'.

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