(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis renewed his condemnation of the practice and culture of corruption on Monday. The Holy Father’s denunciation came during the course of remarks he made to open the annual General Assembly of the Italian Bishops’ Conference – remarks that centered on the need to recover “Ecclesial sensitivity.”
Listen to Ann Schneible’s report:
“Ecclesial sensitivity,” involves, “taking on Christ’s attitudes of humility, compassion, mercy, concreteness and wisdom,” said Pope Francis. “Ecclesial sensitivity also involves being neither timid nor irrelevant in denouncing and defeating a diffuse mentality of public and private corruption that has succeeded in impoverishing – without a trace of shame – families, pensioners, honest laborers, Christian communities,” and ruined the lives of young people, who, because of the culture and practice of corruption, have lost all hope in the future. “Above all,” continued Pope Francis, “[corruption] pushes aside the weakest and most needy.”
Another major aspect of ecclesial sensitivity, and a key to combatting corruption effectively, is “Reinforcing the indispensable role of the laity willing to take on the responsibilities that are properly their own,” said Pope Francis. “In reality,” he continued, “lay men and women who have an authentic Christian formation do not need a ‘bishop-pilot’ or a ‘monsignor-pilot’ or clerical input to assume their responsibilities at every level from the political to the social, from the economic to the legislative,” he continued. “Instead,” said Pope Francis, “they need a ‘bishop-pastor.’”
The meeting of the Italian Bishops Conference runs from May 18-21, and is exploring the reception of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” among the faithful.