11/10/2013 09:35 am ET Updated Nov 10, 2013

Naples Archbishop Crescenzio Sepe Says 'No Communion For Polluters'


Archbishop of Naples Crescenzio Sepe didn't mince words when speaking about the issue of pollution on Wednesday, going so far as to say, "Those who pollute are not in the grace of God and can not take communion."

His remarks came in the wake of revelations that local mafia had buried cancer-causing toxic waste around the city, posing a health risk to residents, reports Adnkronos.

He told journalists at the 10th International Forum of the Christian environmentalist group Greenaccord, "Our people have to be told the truth about what has happened. But it is also necessary to talk about all the positive things that have been done. It is time for everyone to unite and continue to free our earth of poisons."

Care for creation is something that Pope Francis has previously tweeted about, stating:

This isn't the first time that clergy have banned people from taking communion due to their stance on social issues. In September, chief justice of the Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke announced that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi should be denied communion due to her support of the right to have an abortion.

Sepe added that he had ordered local priests, deacons, and lay brothers to be conscious of the Church's role in public ethics, Adnkronos reported.



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