Corruption and wealth is paid for by the poor, says Pope Francis

December 19, 2015

The damage of corruption, by the «economic, political or ecclesiastical corrupt” is paid by the poor. And you have to be careful because «we are all tempted by corruption» a sin that is always lurking. «The only way» to win «the sin of corruption» is «to serve others that purifies the heart». Pope Francis continues to “insist on the theme” of corruption: has again spoken about it at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta – as reported by Vatican Radio – commenting on the biblical passage about Naboth who does not want to sell his vineyard to King Ahab.

Corruption is “a sin at hand, because when one has authority he feels powerful, he feels almost a God”.
“In the newspapers – said the Pope – we read many times: ah, that politician who became magically rich was taken to court. He was in court, was brought into court that the head of a company that became magically rich, that is, by exploiting his workers. We talk too much of a prelate who has become rich too and left his pastoral duty to take care of his power. So – he commented – the corrupt politicians, the corrupt businessmen and corrupt clergy. They are everywhere. An to be truthful corruption is precisely a handy sin that falls on those who have authority over others, whether economic, political or ecclesiastical”.

And the damage of corruption, of the corrupt – then stated Pope Bergoglio – weight on the more vulnerable. “The corruption of the powerful ends up being paid for by the poor, who because of the greed of others remain without what they need and deserve”. In his homily, Francis noted that “we become corrupt along the way of our own safety”. With “well-being, money, then power, vanity, pride. And from there to beyond: even killing”. But, the Pope asked, “who pays the corruption?”. “It is not paid – he observed – by those who bring you the bribe. No, he is an intermediary”. Actually corruption “is paid by the poor”. Paid by hospitals without medicine, by patients without treatment, by children without education. These are the ones who pay the corruption of the powerful. And who pays the corruption of a prelate? It’s paid by children who cannot make the sign of the cross, who do not know the catechism, which are not cared for. It’s paid by the sick who are not visited, the prisoners who have no spiritual attention. The poor pay. Corruption is paid by the poor: material pool, spiritually poor”.

Instead, assured Francis, “the only way out of the corruption, the only way to overcome temptation, sin, corruption, is service”. Why, he said, “corruption comes from pride, arrogance, and service humiliates you: it is “humble charity to help others”.

“Today – he concluded – we offer the Mass for those, and there are many, who pay for this corruption, who pay the life of the corrupt. These martyrs of political corruption, of economic corruption and ecclesiastical corruption. Let’s pray for them. May the Lord bring us closer to them”.

Cross-posted from The Vatican Insider.