Fighting Corruption Is a Form of Charity, Says Pope

Addresses Bishops of Madagascar

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 19, 2005 ( Working toward ending corruption to build a more just society is an act of charity for Christians, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope expressed this conviction Saturday when meeting with the bishops of Madagascar at the conclusion of their five-yearly visit to the Holy See.

The Bishop of Rome urged the prelates to highlight to the Catholic faithful «friendship with Christ,» from which stems «an ever more generous charity towards his brothers.»

«In this way you will support the commitment of the laity of your dioceses to public life, in fidelity to the vocation they have received,» he said.

«In fact, by working on the establishment of a more just society, struggling against corruption, insecurity and all forms of abuse of the poorest, they express the concern of the Church for the human being’s authentic good,» the Holy Father added in his address, delivered in French.

Benedict XVI said that the episcopal ministry requires that «the faithful be helped to acquire an enlightened faith, rooted in a profound encounter with Christ.»

«He must be the measure of everything, enabling one to discern where truth is, to be able to address the problems of today with genuine fidelity to his teaching,» he said. «From this perspective, inculturation of the faith in the Madagascan culture is an important objective.»

«The acceptance of modernity does not exclude being deeply rooted in modernity, on the contrary, demands it. It is indispensable to lean on an enlightened faith, so that there will be genuine progress in the search for the unity of Christ’s disciples,» said the Pontiff to the prelates of this country, whose population includes Catholics and Protestants.

«The establishment of fraternal and trusting relations between them must assume the exigencies of the Catholic identity in truth, avoiding every gesture that not only might confuse the faithful, but also support religious relativism,» Benedict XVI said.

About 23% of Madagascar’s 18 million inhabitants are Catholics, while 18% are Protestants, reported Vatican Radio. Also, 52% follow the traditional animist religion, and 7% are Muslims.

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