Pope Francis: building of a new civil conscience is required: corruption is a habit built on the idolatry of money and the commercialization of human dignity

Pope Francis told an Italian parliamentary commission that the building of a new civil conscience is required.  La Croix International editorial staff, Vatican City, 22 Sep 2017

Society must deal with corruption and create a new civil conscience if it’s to effectively rid itself of mafia groups, Pope Francis told an Italian parliamentary commission visiting the Vatican on September 21.

In a prepared address, the pope explained to members of the Anti-Mafia Parliamentary Commission the link between the perversion of the human heart with official corruption and the activities of mafia groups.

The point of departure is always man’s heart, his relationships [and] his attachments,” said Pope Francis reported Zenit who translated his address.

“We will never keep sufficient watch over this abyss, where the person is exposed to temptations of opportunism, of deceit and of fraud, made more dangerous by the refusal to question oneself,” he said.

The pope went on to say that corruption provides fertile ground for the mafia, poisoning society.

[Corruption] has a contagious and parasitical nature, because it is not nourished on the good that it produces, but on what subtracts and robs,” said Pope Francis. “It is a poisonous root that alters healthy competition and deters investments,” he said.

“At [the] bottom, corruption is a habit built on the idolatry of money and the commercialization of human dignity, for which it is combatted with no less incisive measures than those foreseen in the fight against the mafia.”

The pope said that efforts must go beyond merely stifling the mafia.  “To fight against the mafias means not only to repress,” he said. “It also means to reclaim, to transform, to build, and this entails a commitment at two levels.”

Commitments, he said, were needed in the areas of politics and economics.

The pope added that a new civil conscience was also required. “This twofold level, political and economic, presupposes another no less essential, which is the building of a new civil conscience, the only one that can lead to a true liberation of the mafias.”

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