VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The constant temptation and cancer of corruption is one of the most devastating illnesses to befall society, Pope Francis said.
Corruption causes considerable damage both ethically and economically, he said in an audience March 18 with judges, administrators and staff from Italy’s court of audit, a kind of government accountability office with judicial powers.
The pope told his audience that corruption, with its “illusion of fast and easy gains, in reality impoverishes everyone, erasing trust, transparency and integrity from the entire system. Corruption disheartens individual dignity and shatters all good and beautiful ideals.”
Public assets, he said, must be safeguarded for the benefit of everyone, especially the poor.
Whenever such assets have been used irresponsibly, he added, “the state is called to carry out an indispensable function of vigilance, duly sanctioning illegal behavior.”
“The meticulous inspection of budgets puts the brakes on the temptation — recurrent in those holding political or administrative office — to manage resources with an eye on patronage or mere electoral consensus rather than with prudence,” he said.
The auditing office’s judicial powers play a very important role, he said, “particularly in the incessant fight against corruption,” which is “one of the most decimating plagues” in society.
But everyone, including individual administrators, is called to be responsible and operate with transparency and honesty, strengthening a sense of trust between citizens and the government — a trust whose unravelling “is one of the gravest signs of the crisis of democracy,” he said.
Christians believe Jesus himself “is urging us to openly face this evil and to go to the roots of problems,” the pope said. “He teaches us to personally pay the price in this fight, not out of pursuing an unrealistic heroism and undisguised attention-seeking, but with the humble tenacity of a person who does his or her job, often hidden, resisting the pressures of the world.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103