(Vatican Radio) The organisers of the recently concluded International Consultation Group for Justice, Corruption, Organized Crime and Mafias, sponsored by the Holy See's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, have released a document detailing the outcomes of their work.
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Below, please find the full text of the Outcome Document, in its official English translation
Outcome document of the “International Debate on Corruption” and goals of the International Consultation Group for justice, corruption, organized crime and mafias.
Outcome document of the “International Debate on Corruption” (15 June 2017)
«That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption». This is the universal intention that Pope Francis has entrusted to his Worldwide Prayer Network for the month of February 2018, to commemorate once again the assassination of Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi, priest and martyr.
Starting from the month of September, 2017, the International Consultation Group for Justice of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will focus its efforts on this matter for the upcoming year.
The International Debate on Corruption has expressed the common intent to deal with various forms of corruption, organized crime and the mafia. Corruption, prior to being an act, is a condition: hence the need for culture, education, training, institutional action, citizen participation. The Consultation Group proposes, therefore, to formulate different definitions of "corruption", as stated by Pope Francis and Cardinal Turkson in the book-interview «Corrosione», published on 15 June last.
The Consultation Group will not just come up with virtuous exhortations, because concrete gestures are needed. In fact, a commitment to education requires credible teachers, even in the Church.
«Let's pray for all the victims of the mafias, we ask for the strength to go forward, to continue to fight against corruption», wrote Pope Francis on 19 July.
The Consultation Group will constitute an international network. The Church in the world is in itself a network, and for this reason it can and must serve this purpose with courage, resolution, transparency, spirit of collaboration and creativity.
Anyone seeking alliances to obtain privileges, exemptions, preferential or even illegal pathways, is not credible. If we decide to follow this behaviour, we can all run the risk of becoming unsuitable, harmful and dangerous. Those taking advantage of their position to recommend people who are often not recommendable - both in terms of value and honesty - are not credible. Thus, the action of the Consultation Group will be educational and informative, and will address public opinion and many institutions to create a mentality of freedom and justice, in view of the common good.
Normally, the consequences of corruption are not easily recognized: one is unaware that an act of corruption is often at the base of a crime. The Consultation Group will therefore intervene to fill this gap, especially wherever, in the world, corruption is the dominant social system.
The Consultation Group will also investigate further into the development of a global response - through Bishops' Conferences and local Churches – to the excommunication of the mafia and other similar criminal organizations and to the prospect of excommunication for corruption. This will not be a simple road to follow: the Church is present in the world and must listen to all of its parts in order to dialogue with non-Christians as well in an active, transparent and effective way.
Moreover, it will be essential to develop the almost-lost relationship between justice and beauty. Our extraordinary historical, artistic and architectural heritage will be a formidable element supporting educational and social actions against all forms of corruption and organized crime.
The Consultation Group will also propose a political mindset - with particular attention to democracy and secularism – capable of enlightening actions towards civil institutions, to ensure that international treaties are effectively enforced and laws are standardized to best pursue the tentacles of crime, which go well beyond state borders. In fact, one of the goals is to study how to apply the principles of the Conventions of Palermo and Merida.
The Dicastery, by statute, «expresses the Holy See’s concern for issues of justice and peace» and must echo Pope Francis’ message for justice and peace. Corruption, in fact, also causes a lack of peace, so the Consultation Group will likewise analyze in-depth the relationship between peace processes and forms of corruption.
A movement, an awakening of consciences, is necessary. This is our primary motivation, which we perceive as a moral obligation. Laws are necessary but not sufficient. There will be three levels of action: education, culture, citizenship. We need to act with courage to stir and provoke consciences, shifting from widespread indifference to the perception of the severity of these phenomena, in order to fight them.
Vatican City, 31 July 2017
Goals of the Consultation Group
(study and educational, cultural, social and institutional actions).
1- Define the concept of corruption within the broader fields of justice, anthropology and cultural crisis, and each of its criminal outcomes in relation to organized crime and the mafias.
2- Raise the public opinion’s awareness to build a mindset and culture of justice.
3- Identify the consequences of corruption (social, economic, political, institutional, cultural, spiritual, criminal) starting from precise facts, processes, events, and informing the public.
4- Deepen the relationship existing between people, institutions and corruption, and between peace processes and corruption.
5- Promote common International legal measures against corruption, organized crime and the mafias and follow their implementation.
6- Identify concrete steps that can reinforce the application of policies and laws.
7- Deepen the knowledge on the history of corruption, the mafias and other criminal organizations, and disseminate the results of such studies through various means of communication.
8- Deepen the relationship existing between corruption and social injustice.
9- Give voice to the victims and spread their stories.
10- Deepen and enhance the relationship existing between history, beauty, art and justice, promoting initiatives in this regard.
11- Create an open discussion forum following several channels (web, publishing, media, arts) and promote a position on social media: Michelangelo For Justice on Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/ Instagram.
12- Outline educational and informative proposals.
13- Define a political vision in relation to the idea of democracy, secularism (laity), social justice, to promote integral human development.
14- Define the role of the Church and lay people against corruption, the mafias and organized crime.
15- Identify and make known best practices.
16- Identify new subjects that can enrich participation in the Consultation Group by following the plurality of careers, sensitivities and geographical areas.
17- Locate businesses, adequate institutions and advocates for the economic development of the activities of the Consultation Group.
18- Adopt publishing initiatives, meetings, debates, art events; promote actions on the mass media, social networks; make documentaries and e-magazines; promote actions in schools, universities, social organizations, in prisons, in charitable and educational organizations.
19- According to the Statute of the Dicastery, identify governmental and non-governmental institutions, associations and groups with which to join the network, cooperating and determining common agreements.
20- Gather texts, documents, books and audio-visual material, encouraging the exchange of information to decide shared initiatives.
21- Investigate further the possibility of spreading at a global level - through Bishops’ Conferences and local Churches – the excommunication of members of the mafia and similar criminal organizations. Also, further explore the issue of excommunication for corruption.