Pope to faithful: Corruption is a plague that robs, kills

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MANILA, Jan. 20, 2015—Pope Francis on Monday lambasted corruption as a “plague” that destroys both societal and ecclesiastical institutions, urging the faithful to pray for those who have fallen into the trap of corrupt acts and practices.

“Corruption is taking from the people. The corrupt person who does corrupt deals or governs corruptly or associates himself with others in order to do corrupt deals robs the people,” the Holy Father said, answering the question raised by journalists onboard the papal flight back to Rome from the Philippines.

“Corruption is not closed in on itself; it goes out and kills,” he added.

Pope Francis answers questions from members of the media during his flight back to Rome from the Philippines. (Photo: Roy Lagarde)

The Holy Father added that encouraged by complexity of today’s institutions, corruption has become a normal way-of-life for most people.

“Today, corruption is a worldwide problem…It is the order of the day in today’s world, and the corrupt attitude easily and immediately finds a nest in the institutions,” he said.

Corruption, a ‘plague’

Recognizing corrupt practices committed within the Church, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for the forgiveness of church people who have engaged into greedy acts and practices.

“Does corruption happen easily? Let’s remember this—Sinners, yes. Corrupt, no. Never corrupt,” he said.

“We must ask pardon for those Catholics, those Christians who scandalize with their corruption. It is a plague,” he added.

The Holy Father likened corruption to a “wound” that destroys the Church.

“When we speak of corruption, we speak either of corrupt persons or of institutions in the Church that fall into corruption,” he said. “It’s a wound in the Church. But there are so many saints and sinner saints, but not corrupt.”

Reject corruption

In his message to Filipinos delivered at the Malacañan Palace last Friday, the Pontiff urged the faithful to “reject every form of corruption which diverts resources from the poor, and to make concerted efforts to ensure the inclusion of every man and woman and child in the life of the community.”

He noted the need to rebuild the foundations of the Philippine society based on solid human values, dignity, and rights to prepare the country from facing the many political and ethical issues surrounding it.

“The Philippines…faces the challenge of building on solid foundations a modern society–a society respectful of authentic human values, protective of our God-given human dignity and rights, and ready to confront new and complex political and ethical questions,” the Pope said.

“As many voices in your nation have pointed out, it is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good,” he added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza/CBCP News)

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