Pope Francis said September 10, 2017 that corruption can be more devastating to a country than outright violence, according to Vatican Radio.
His comments came in response to reporters’ questions during an in-flight press conference on September 10, 2017. He was returning to Rome from his trip to Colombia, during which he repeatedly appealed for peace and an end to corruption in the violence-torn nation.
The Pope said that God never tires of forgiving sin, but corruption is a kind of sin with a difference, according to Vatican Radio. The Pope went on to say that the corrupt person tires of seeking forgiveness — even forgets how to ask for forgiveness.
“He is not able to ask for forgiveness,” the Pope said, which makes it hard to help the corrupt. But, he said, “God can do it. I pray for that.”
The Holy Father also commented on the peace process, stating that the political process can only take things so far if the people do not embrace peace. He said that the people must “take peace” in their hands for it to do well.
The need to end corruption has been a consistent theme of the Vatican.
The Vatican called the fight against corruption and the barriers it creates to peace and justice a “moral obligation”, in a document released in August that outlines plans by the International Consultation Group for Justice, Corruption, Organized Crime and Mafias (ICG), sponsored by the Holy See’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Vatican Radio in English reports.
The document is the outcome of the ICG’s June meeting in the Vatican Gardens, which brought together leaders in religion, law enforcement and victim’s groups.
Pope Francis created the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in August of 2016, naming Cardinal Peter Turkson as its head. Pope Francis’ wrote the Preface of Cardinal Turkson’s book “Corrosion: Overcome Corruption in the Church and in Society,” published by Rizzoli in June.