(Pope Francis conducts his weekly general audience at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican November 13, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

Pope Francis’s anti-mafia rhetoric and financial reforms at the Vatican are stoking tension between the mob and the Church, an Italian prosecutor said in an interview with Reuters.

Nicola Gratteri, the leading Calabrian mob prosecutor, dismissed headlines that said the mafia wanted to kill the pontiff following another interview the senior investigator gave to an Italian newspaper on Wednesday.

Instead, Gratteri said he was simply pointing out that the pope’s efforts to break historic ties that the ‘Ndrangheta, as the Calabrian mafia is known, has maintained with the Roman Catholic Church is angering mob bosses.

“Since the mafias need popular consensus to control their territory, they need to be seen as close to the Church,” Gratteri told Reuters on Wednesday night.