Corruption must be fought with beauty and justice, says Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY — Corruption must be fought with beauty and justice, Pope Francis has said in the preface of a new book called, “Corruption.”
The new volume, by Cardinal Peter Turkson, former president of the Vatican’s Justice and Peace Council and current head of the office for Integral Human Development, explores the origins and devastating consequences of corruption, which the pope describes as a “curse” and a “cancer” that can consume our lives.
“As I write, I am here in the Vatican, a place of absolute beauty where human genius has sought to soar and transcend, so that immortality might take the place of corruption,” the pope writes.
This beauty is not a “cosmetic accessory,” he notes, but a tool that emphasizes the value of the human person, so that man might “raise his head against injustices.”
Indeed, “this beauty must be espoused with justice,” he said.
In his preface, the pope describes corruption as the breakdown of relationships that every human being has with God, with our neighbors and with the natural world around us.
“The word ‘corrupt’ implies a broken heart,” he observes. As a “disordered” and “decadent” way of life, corruption breaks down relationships among people and replaces the common good with particular interests.
The pope describes corruption as the worst scourge of societies, because it is the lifeblood of the mafia and other criminal organizations. Corruption, he says, is the origin of all exploitation and trafficking of people, drugs and weapons. It is at the heart of all injustice, lack of development, unemployment and social degradation.
This scourge is fueled by the “culture of death” and is a “profound cultural question that must be faced,” he states.
Pope Francis praises the new book for exposing the ramifications of corruption and the way it can tempt all of us in our political, economic, cultural or spiritual lives. The spirit of worldliness can corrupt us all, the pope warns, leading to a hardening of our hearts and indifference to those around us.
The Pope ends his preface with an urgent appeal to all Christians and all people of good will to combat this curse, this cancer which can consume our lives.
Contributing source: Vatican Radio