La Croix, Sept 2019
The Peruvian Bishops’ Conference and 11 Catholic universities have collaborated to create an online course to educate the country’s young about the nature of corruption.
All those heads of state who ruled between 2001 and 2018 are suspected by the country’s justice system of having received bribes from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht in exchange for opening up markets to them.
“The social virus of corruption infects our public and private institutions and undermines the resources that the state needs to fight poverty,” said Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos of Trujillo, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Peru, and president of the Latin American Bishops’ Council.
“We want to address the problem at its roots and this requires the education of the younger generations who have in their hands the moral and civic transformation of Peru.”
A ‘demon’ to ‘expel’
The aims is that the online courses enable students to better identify and prevent the mechanisms that fuel corruption. They will study the history of corruption in Peru and its concrete consequences in the public, private, political and cultural spheres.
Other modules will be added later, such as the study of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, the teachings of John Paul II and Pope Francis on corruption and the study of the civic virtues that help to stem the phenomenon.
Archbishop Cabrejos says it goes further than the mere involvement in wrongdoing, adding: “The damage also occurs in the way Peruvians normalize the situations of corruption around them.”
The Peruvian Catholic Church has been warning about this scourge for years and the issue was also raised by Pope Francis during his visit to the country in January 2018.
The pope then described corruption in the country as a “demon” to be “expelled” but also as a form of “degradation,” “which gradually contaminates the entire social fabric.”
Francis then made a call “to those who have a responsibility” to “commit themselves” so that Peru “may be a place of hope and opportunity for all and not just a few.”